TUPD moves dispatch center downtown to medical school

Brandi Doyal, Staff Reporter

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The Tulane University Police Department plans to complete a partial relocation of its dispatch unit to a shared space with Technology Services on the 14th floor in the Medical School at 1555 Poydras St. TUPD Superintendent Jon Barnwell said he has worked on consolidating TUPD’s facilities since he accepted the position in 2012.

“TUPD has a major presence on all three campuses so there has been no thought on relocation,” Barnwell said. “When I first got to Tulane, there were two police departments that were separate and apart from each other, including two separate dispatch centers. I have since combined both police departments into one and the consolidation of the dispatch center is a continuation of this project.”

Barnwell said he hopes the shared space between TUPD and Technology Services will increase the efficiency of the TUPD’s dispatch unit. He said this space met the needs of both TUPD and Technology Services and offered no disadvantages.

“At the same time we were looking to build this security operations and state-of-the-art dispatch center, Technology Services was looking to build out a Network Operations Center and Help Desk,” Barnwell said. “Through collaboration between the Police and Technology Services, awe were able to provide even more efficiency of scale by building out [of a] shared space.”

The shared space will allow TUPD and the Help Desk, which deals with technology troubleshooting, to work together to address problems around campus, including both technological and safety issues.

Allie Hopkins, director of the technical support and network operations center, said she was excited about building the new state-of-the-art network operations center and help desk in collaboration with a TUPD dispatch center.

“[The help desk and network operation center] also houses the security operations center for TUPD when they move in the coming weeks,” Hopkins said. “This is an example of us moving towards infrastructure, because this building could have been built somewhere else, but it was more cost-effective for us to build it here.”

The move has not been completed, but both Technology Services and TUPD are looking to start working together. Barnwell said there are still issues that need to be sorted out and equipment that must be moved. 

“It’s important to note we have not fully made the move on consolidation,” Barnwell said. “We are working through getting our phone lines recorded and adding additional radio channels for enhanced multidisciplinary interoperability during emergencies. We should have this in place in the coming weeks.”

Barnwell said this move will improve the quality of TUPD’s dispatch and response teams without hindering their ability to serve and protect the students, faculty and staff.

“Having this consolidated center allows us to have redundancy from a call taking dispatch standpoint that will also expedite our call taking and dispatch capabilities,” Barnwell said. “This is a huge benefit for TUPD with no adverse affect on our campus community. Our increased capabilities will be an added benefit to our students, faculty and staff.”