COS Campus Police To Phase Out Code Blue Phones


Louie Vale

CODE BLUE Emergency phone covered in a black trash bag north of the Kern Building was out of service on Monday afternoon. Monday, May 6th, 2019, Visalia Campus.

(Visalia, Calif.) A students worst fear, something every student shouldn’t have to go through when in crisis or in the event of an emergency. But, how well do you know when a call is out of service? From students in danger to life-threatening situations from suspicious activity to medical emergencies, almost anything can happen.

District Police Sergeant Donald Charles says emergency phones (known as CODE BLUE Phones) aren’t going to be around on campus. Upon testing, four outages occurred on all three COS campuses: Visalia, Hanford, and Tulare. In Visalia, north of the Kern and Ponderosa Buildings, two CODE BLUE cell towers are out of service. But with technology changing the aspect of cellular phones of students there could be a change to the campus’ looks. In Hanford, one outage was reported near the vocational education buildings. In Tulare, one outage was reported in the farm animal complex area.

“We got OK’d from the administration as they go out of service were just removing them,” Charles said.

Charles describes the cost of fixing them is enormously expensive and believes that cell phones are more useful compared to the CODE BLUE phones. Senior management, including the president’s office, made the decision to remove the CODE BLUE phones that were out of service over the 18 years. Officers had five legitimate 911 calls from usage of CODE BLUE phones at the campus. The rest were either accidents or people pushing the red button and running away from it.

While technology is still changing, cell phones have proved to be a much better tool of communication for emergencies due to GPS signal of latitude and longitude allowing dispatchers and officers to know where you are during a 911 call. When calling off of a cell, you’ll speak to trained dispatchers to answer questions, grab, and share call information and dispatch police instantaneously during a phone call as opposed to the CODE BLUE  phones which only allow one to speak to a dispatcher.

If a call is made from a CODE BLUE phone, the student workers or office staff won’t be able to ask questions due to the emergency. If officers needed a call back, they can’t call back from that device.

“They can call us, but we cant call them. There is limits of what that phone could do.” Charles said.

District Police recommend students to call them at (559) 730-3999 or in the event of an emergency call 911 from a cellular device.