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UAB Partners with City of Birmingham to Enhance Security

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By Alicia Rohan

UAB News

The University of Alabama at Birmingham will install a license plate recognition camera system around the institution’s perimeter capable of alerting UAB Police to a potential threat to campus security.

UAB Police Chief Daryl Green says nearly 70 percent of crimes involve a vehicle, which is often stolen or has a stolen license plate. The new technology — a Flock Safety system — will notify police in real time when a vehicle associated with criminal activity enters or exits UAB’s campus, allowing officers to proactively prevent and solve crimes.

“The Flock Safety system is a force multiplier and will help our officers work more efficiently to identify wanted vehicles and increase the safety of those across our academic and medical campuses,” Green said.

The Birmingham Police Department already uses the system and will coordinate efforts with UAB Police. UAB’s adoption is expected to enhance the program’s overall reach and effectiveness in the city while enhancing safety and security across UAB.

Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin and the Birmingham City Council authorized the plans.

“We are grateful for this added layer of security,” Woodfin said. “The City of Birmingham and UAB have always had shared values in helping to create a safe and thriving community for all. This is good news for the students, faculty and staff who have chosen UAB and our city to be their workplace and their home.”

The monitoring system is being installed with an expected activation date of Oct. 30, 2023.

“At UAB, the safety of our students, employees, patients and guests is our highest priority, and we are pleased to be working in collaboration with the City of Birmingham to explore new technologies to enhance campus security and advance our public safety efforts,” Green said.

In September, UAB Police and Public Safety, along with UAB Health System Emergency Management, launched a new Security Operations Center that will monitor the new license plate recognition camera system in real time. The SOC tracks all threats to the UAB campus, as well as assists with campus public safety. The UAB SOC is composed of a team of experts who proactively monitor and help provide an overall safe environment for the entire UAB campus.

UAB continues to perform well in safety statistics among colleges and universities, especially when compared to similar urban institutions with medical facilities.

UAB is committed to providing elite security and safety across campus by employing a variety of security measures to protect the campus community:

  • Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management Team
  • More than 450 emergency telephones
  • B-Alert emergency notification system
  • Free UAB RAVE Guardian safety app
  • Motorist assistance roadside service
  • Safety awareness and training programs
  • Transportation alternatives such as Blazer Express and after-hours safety escort vans

Learn more about and access these and other safety resources at uab.edu/safety.

UAB Police and Public Safety recently conducted table-top and full-scale active shooter drills, increased officer rounding, and initiated a partnership with the Jefferson County sheriff to assist with investigatory leads, in addition to enhanced communication and partnership with Birmingham Police regarding criminal intelligence.

UAB Police is also hiring additional officers, deploying an upgrade to its emergency notification system, B-Alert, and implementing emergency operations software that assists in management and decision-making with key partners during incidents.