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Campus Preparedness and Security Updates

October 6, 2023

To: The Campus Community
From: Hampton Cantrell, Chief of Campus Security and Parking Services

As we usher in the 2023–24 academic year, the Caltech Security team would like to share a few important updates and reminders about campus security and emergency protocols. Our priority is to support the safety, security, and well-being of all individuals on campus, including our guests and visitors. The Security team routinely evaluates our processes and procedures to ensure that we are best positioned to serve the campus community.

New Updates

  • Public Emergency Alert Beacons – Individual Alert Beacons, which look like yellow boxes slightly larger than a traditional building fire alarm, have been installed on the walls at multiple locations around campus including dining facilities, large auditoriums, and Caltech Hall. Beacons are linked to Caltech's Everbridge emergency notification system. In the event of an emergency, the beacon will flash red, play an audible tone, and display text updates about the emergency and what action to take. They will flash green when the emergency has ended.
  • Security cameras – Caltech Security-managed cameras are in the final stages of installation in public areas around the graduate student residences at the Catalina Apartments to provide an additional layer of protection. The camera project, which was developed in collaboration with Caltech Security, the Student Housing Office, and the Catalina apartment residents, is part of a continued effort to enhance safety and security across the campus. Guidelines outlining the protocols and procedures for the use of campus security cameras are available online.

General Safety Information

  • Security team – The Caltech Security team operates 24/7, 365 days a year. Security officers are unarmed and partner with the Pasadena Police and Fire departments for assistance as needed.
  • Campus patrol – Caltech Security patrols include bicycle-mounted patrols during the day and car patrols at night to ensure the highest level of safety around campus.
  • Medical response – Caltech Security officers are trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) who can provide first aid and medical care.
  • Be mindful – The most common security concern on campus is incidents of property theft. Do not leave your personal items—cell phones, laptops, backpacks, etc. —unattended. Protect your bicycle by registering your bike with campus security and locking it whenever it is left unattended.
  • Pedestrian safety – Caltech Security advises pedestrians and drivers to exercise caution, especially when crossing the highly trafficked streets on the perimeter of campus (Del Mar Boulevard, Wilson Avenue, and California Boulevard). Pedestrians should utilize designated crosswalks at traffic lights. Caltech continues to work with the city of Pasadena to improve traffic safety on the streets closest to campus.

Contact and communication

  • Caltech Security emergency phone number – (626) 395-5000. Save this number to your phone and call it in the event of an emergency on campus. If possible, contact Security before calling 911 for a quicker localized response. Caltech Security will contact emergency responders and guide them to the campus emergency.
  • Caltech Security nonemergency phone number – (626) 395-4701. Call this number for nonemergency questions or for help with Security resources
  • Blue emergency telephones – There are 23 blue emergency call boxes around campus that will immediately connect you with Caltech Security at the push of a button.

Emergency Preparedness

  • Everbridge emergency notification system – In the event of an emergency on campus, notifications will be sent out via text message, phone call, email, and/or the Everbridge app. To ensure you receive notifications, update your contact info under "My Personal Information" in access.caltech and select "Mobile" for your cell phone number. Download and set up the Everbridge app to receive notifications in areas with poor cell service.
  • Emergency contacts – Update or verify your emergency contact person(s) and home address in access.caltech. The information is available in the "My Personal Information" section, under the "Phones and Addresses" and "Emergency Contacts" tabs.
  • Emergency protocols – Review the emergency protocols for situations like an active shooter or an earthquake. Be prepared and informed.
  • Free emergency training – The Caltech Security team provides Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. Learn how to help yourself and your community in the event of a disaster or emergency.
  • Great Shakeout – On October 19, Caltech will participate in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill and host an earthquake preparedness fair.

Security Resources

  • Bike registrationRegister your bike with Security to receive a free U-lock.
  • Escorts – Security provides safety escorts to all members of the campus community. Call the nonemergency number (626-395-4701) if you need a safe ride home, to your car, or anywhere within a 1-mile radius of campus.
  • Lockouts – If you are locked out of your dorm, lab, or office, call the nonemergency number (626-395-4701) to receive assistance.
  • Lost and found – Return and retrieve lost items at the Security Dispatch Office located on the ground floor of the Holliston Parking Structure.

Safety is a collective endeavor. Remember that the Caltech Security team is here as a resource for you, but you also play an important role in maintaining a secure environment and thriving campus community. For more information, visit our Caltech Campus Security website.