New UAB Police and Public Safety headquarters is now open
By: Tiffany Westry Womack
Thursday, August 9, 2018

Ribbon Cutting

University of Alabama at Birmingham officials held a grand opening recently for the new UAB Police and Public Safety headquarters. The $8.2 million, 28,000-square-foot facility is located in the 1100 block of 14th Street South.

“This new facility provides a state-of-the-art space for police operations and room to accommodate continued growth of the department,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “It is tailored to the specific needs of UAB Police. It gives our officers and staff the room and resources they need to perform even more effectively as they continue maintaining a secure environment for all on campus.”

The ground floor of the facility includes a lobby area for public information and interaction with UAB police, a records storage area, evidence processing and evidence storage areas, patrol department staff offices, and an officer roll-call area. The floor also includes UAB Security Services staff offices, a breakroom, men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers, an in-house weight room, communication department staff offices, and a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week emergency call center.

“The UAB Police Department is very excited to celebrate the completion of our new headquarters with the community,” said UAB Police Chief Anthony Purcell. “The previous building was built in the early 1970s. It served our department well, but it had seen its time. The new state-of-the-art facility will enhance our ability to provide the support and service our community deserves.”

The first-floor communication department serves as a storm shelter for officers and staff and allows for continuous operation of the emergency call center during severe or inclement weather.

The second floor is home to senior staff, administrative department, investigations department and training department staff offices. A conference room, breakroom and 1,500-square-foot training room for police department staff are located on the second floor. UAB police officers will also host public training courses in that space.

New building security measures to begin this Fall

RS2413 uab campus green 2009 6 scr

UAB is implementing a building safety plan that will promote greater control over access to campus facilities and employ additional technologies to enhance security for faculty, staff and students. The roll-out will be in three phases and is expected to be complete by June 30, 2019.

This is the latest advance in the university’s policy and practice of enhancing safety through analysis, training and communication and technology, said Anthony Purcell, associate vice president for Public Safety and Chief of Police.

 “Our campus performs as well as or better in safety statistics than similar urban institutions even as it expands and enrollment and employment increases,” Purcell  said. “Nonetheless, we continue to be vigilant — and that includes adopting and implementing best practices for securing the facilities in which our students and employees teach, research, work and live.”

 With the new security procedures, most buildings will be open to anyone with a legitimate purpose 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday- Friday and accessible by the UAB ONE Card after work hours and during weekends. Some buildings will require key card access at all times; for example, a 24/7 lockdown will be effective Sept. 1 for Shelby Research Building and Oct. 1 for Lister Hill Library.

 UAB’s ONE Card, which has been in use since January 2013, is provided to all faculty, staff and students as the university’s official identification. It already is required for transactions that range from parking and dining to event or door access.

 “A UAB ONE card is a simple way to identify members of the campus community,” said Ozzie Taylor, director of Physical Security. “Having it with you at all times helps ensure that you are free to move through secure facilities as needed and that you can readily identify others who may not belong.

 “Each one of us has a role to play in campus safety,” Taylor said. For most, it’s wearing our ONE Card.”

 Implementation ahead

 Phase I, which will include Lister Hill and Mervyn Sterne libraries, Collat School of Business, School of Nursing and the Shelby Research Building, should be complete by Oct. 1.

Security measures will vary by the primary use for each building, though some will be shared by most:

  • ·         Main entrances will have key card access, and cameras will be installed.
  • ·         Exit doors will allow egress but be suited with alarms and cameras that trigger if propped open.
  • ·         Security cameras and a hard-wired lockdown button will be installed in every classroom for new construction and renovations; older classrooms will be phased in over time.

Any additional restrictions will be communicated to each building’s residents, and signs will be posted on each building that specify open and restricted access times as these changes become effective.

Employees whose ONE Card is lost or damaged should get a replacement. Complete and submit the form online at Direct questions to