What Chief Green wants you to know about UAB security

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It has been an eventful 20 months since Daryl Green, Ph.D., assumed the role of associate vice president of Public Safety and chief of UAB Police in August 2022. Under Green, the force has added new technologies, partnered with Hospital Emergency Management to create a security operation center, and hired additional police and security officers focused on a unified system for hospital and campus public safety effectiveness.

“Statistics show that UAB has a relatively safe campus,” Green said. “But until our campus is completely crime-free, there is work to do, and we will continue our aggressive efforts to collaborate with our public safety partners and seek new technologies and practices to maintain a safe environment.”

U.S. Department of Education Campus Safety and Security data show that UAB continues to compare favorably in campus safety statistics to urban and non-urban campuses alike — from UCLA and Stanford to Duke, Emory, Rice and Vanderbilt.

The Reporter sat down with Green to discuss what has been done, upcoming plans and what he wants all employees to know about staying safe at UAB.

New technologies on campus

One of Green’s emphases has been on “a layered public safety approach” in order to create “a buffer zone to deter potential threats,” he said. An example of this is the Flock Safety system of license plate recognition cameras that were set up around UAB’s perimeter in fall 2023. These cameras notify police in real time if a vehicle associated with criminal activity (including being reported as stolen) enters or exits UAB’s campus. “We know that stolen cars are often used by criminals to commit more crimes, so the alerts assist our officers in responding before a crime is committed,” Green said. The Birmingham Police Department also uses the Flock Safety system, which allows coordination of alerts and other collaboration between the departments on responses, Green adds.

Officers monitor the Flock system, along with feeds from many of the more than 6,400 security cameras across the UAB enterprise, in the Security Operations Center, or SOC, which was opened in September 2023.

“We view the Security Operations Center as the clearinghouse for all threats on the campus and in the Health System,” Green said. “Our officers monitor cameras particularly in high-peak areas and during emerging situations, such as if there is a major public event.” If officers need to respond, the SOC can provide officers with real-time information about the suspect’s actions, descriptions and patterns of travel. The SOC also communicates directly with the UAB Center for Patient Flow to divert patients and staff from a disturbance.

Active shooter preparedness

Green is a firm believer in the value of training opportunities, particularly in working with leaders across campus. “We exercise and train regularly,” he said. “Last year, we did two tabletop active shooter exercises with senior leadership as well as a full-scale exercise in July 2023 with leaders from across the campus and Health System, including President Ray Watts, and our police and fire partners from the City of Birmingham.” Another full-scale exercise took place May 3, Green says.

“The reason we do these exercises is to improve our policies, procedures, tactics, equipment and incident command structure, but also to improve collaboration and coordination,” Green said. “Police departments often do this training in a silo, but it is important to do these exercises with our campus administrative leaders and our regional first responders and health care workers.”

(UAB Police also offers Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, or CRASE, training to members of the UAB community. Call (205) 934–4649 to schedule a training.)

This spring’s full-scale exercise had a heightened focus on reunification, Green says. “While an incident is still occurring, you have victims who are directly impacted,” he explained. “How do you move those people to a safe location? How do you communicate with the public? How do you set up a call center where people can get information on loved ones? How do you get people their backpacks and cellphones and other belongings back? The offices of Student Affairs and Marketing and Communications will be an essential part of this.”

Green understands that communication plays a major role in all public safety activities. He and his team have worked with the UAB Office of Marketing and Communications, other campus and Health System partners, and the vendor that supplies the technology behind UAB’s B-ALERT campus notification system to “create efficiencies and more collaboration regarding the decision-making processes associated with sending an alert to the campus,” as well as to enable more detailed location information in the alerts, he said.

Enhanced Health System security and new leadership roles

The Health System funded 16 new officers specifically assigned to the Health System, and the police have already increased hospital security rounding by 30 percent, Green says.

In a recent promotion ceremony Jan. 3, 2024, nine officers were recognized for their new leadership roles in the ranks of corporal, sergeant and lieutenant. The ceremony also recognized new Deputy Chief of Police Amy C. Schreiner, who succeeds Marvin Atmore, who held the role from 2012 until his retirement last year. Schreiner, who began her law enforcement career with the Auburn University Police Department in 2001, joined the UAB Police in 2010.

“Deputy Chief Schreiner is an extremely talented and experienced officer who is certainly dedicated to this campus,” Green said. “During her time at UAB, she has worked the gamut of divisions and departments, and many people on campus know her. I look forward to her success as our deputy chief.”

In her new role, Schreiner is responsible for the supervision and daily operations of the Patrol, Office of Professional Standards, and Housing/Special Operations divisions. She also oversees the function of the Accreditation, Communication, Compliance, Crime Prevention and Training units. Learn more about Deputy Chief Schreiner and the other promoted officers in this article

What Chief Green wants you to know

Whether it is about B-Alerts, areas on campus that could use more lighting or a location that might benefit from additional officer patrols, Green says he is eager to hear from employees and students across the university and Health System.

“When it comes to safety, you can never be too prepared, so constant improvement is always our goal,” Green said. “We are committed to collaborating more with our community and listening to needs and issues to address.” (Contact Green’s office by email at UABPD-PoliceDept@mail.ad.uab.edu or call (205) 934–2297.)

Is there anything he would like the campus to know? Green mentioned several things:

Download RAVE Guardian: “I would like to increase the number of students and employees who take advantage of all the resources at www.uab.edu/safety, including downloading the RAVE Guardian app,” Green said. “It is a GPS-enabled virtual safety escort, it lets you report suspicious activity, and it gives you a personal panic button on your phone that gives officers your location in an emergency.”

Make sure building doors are closed: Another recommendation is to make sure that exterior doors in your building remain closed. “That keeps everyone safe, and it reduces the number of false alarms that our officers need to respond to,” Green said.

Lock your car — and valuables. UAB Police regularly patrol parking decks and lots, but one of the best ways to keep your belongings safe — on campus and off — is to make sure your doors are locked. “Sometimes people leave their cars unlocked with possessions inside or even their car keys,” Green said. “That makes it easy for potential thieves. Don’t keep belongings in clear sight inside your vehicle, and never leave your keys in your unattended car.” Locking up bikes and scooters, and checking on them periodically, also is a good idea, Green added. “Sometimes people lock up a bike and don’t check on it until the end of the semester,” he said. “That might catch the eye of a potential thief, and — if stolen — it is harder for police to track it down after time passes.”

Use the Safe Zone for transactions: Anyone who is buying or selling online can also take advantage of a UAB Police service called the Safe Zone — a dedicated, camera-monitored section of the parking area in front of the Police headquarters. “These transactions can unfortunately be unsafe, so we wanted to provide our campus and the broader community this option to more safely buy or sell goods,” Green said. “The Safe Zone is a great option if you are meeting a stranger for an internet transaction.”

Green says that, while reported crime at UAB is relatively low, continued vigilance is vitally important. “We need to remember that, whoever and wherever we are, no one is immune to criminal activity, and many crimes can be prevented with planning and awareness,” he said. “Our campus strives to continuously enhance safety through analysis, training and communication, as well as the latest technology.”