College and university campuses experience their share of dangerous and threatening situations, putting the safety of their students and staff at risk. That’s why when Gonzaga University took the important steps to help ensure campus safety, they turned to Zetron’s MAX Dispatch console system to support their campus security activities. This not only gave their security team a much needed upgrade, but it simplified the process of configuring and integrating with the NEXEDGE radio system they installed at the same time. Now, the two systems work seamlessly together.
Thanks to an active and ongoing relationship with both police and fire departments in Spokane, WA, Scott Snider, Gonzaga’s director of campus security and public safety and his staff of 21, with 14 officers and other uniformed assignments can rely on their response. “We call on them whenever we have an issue that requires their response or aid,” explained Snider. “We work very well together.” “Going forward, the city has preliminary agreed to our access to an emergency radio channel on their trunked radio system and when this part of the project is complete we will be able to talk security officer to first responder in a crisis.”
The process to build the new system started when campus representatives began having serious discussions about the need for obtaining new communications equipment, back in early 2016.
“We had a number of disparate, non-compatible radio systems on campus that couldn’t talk to each other,” Snider said. “Some of the equipment was getting antiquated to the point that we were unable to find radio equipment that was compatible with it. This was beginning to pose considerable challenges to my department and other departments on campus.”
Snider and Tomson Spink, a manager from campus Plant Services combined efforts to tackle and solve this problem. Together, they decided the best solution would be to migrate to a digital trunked radio infrastructure system and replace their old, non-interoperable equipment with a new dispatch console system. “I agreed that I’d obtain the funding for portables and a new dispatch console to be installed in our dispatch center. Spink would go after funding for the new infrastructure and radio antennas.” Their bosses agreed with the proposal and the project was approved.
“We had the luxury of relying on previous relationships and familiarity with Industrial Communications, developed Spink at a nearby institution by where they installed a similar system,” Snider said. “And we have the convenience of them being right here in town, they’re very easy to get a hold of and we still enjoy their responsiveness, to this day.”
After performing demos of the MAX Dispatch console, and no competitor able to step in at the same price point, it was an easy decision for Snider. “Working with Industrial Communications was
the deciding factor,” Snider recalled. “They saw the value of having the Zetron system be part of our new digital trunked system. The MAX Dispatch system offers a lot and gives us the same capabilities as much more expensive systems.”
Once the system was installed, they took it a step further and were able to brand the “all-call” button. “We branded it as part of our alert system, and we were also able to put a beautiful photo of campus on the screen’s background. It makes it our system, it looks like it belongs here in our university,” said Snider.
Reliable Expansion for Tomorrow
While they’d grown accustom to the unreliable, poor coverage, it was one less thing Snider and his team had to worry about. And the simple, customizable interface were added bonuses, making everyone’s lives easier and more productive. Now, with everything in place, they’re able to focus on future expansion, which includes a laptop for portability. “The mobility would give us the ability to setup shop anywhere we need to if something should happen to our dispatch center and we’re displaced,” Snider said. “We’re looking forward to working with Industrial Communications and Zetron, they’re great to work with, great partners.”