New emergency call boxes installed on Western Carolina campus this fall

CULLOWHEE – Among the features new to campus this fall are 21 emergency call boxes. Many of those installed were replacements for old boxes that were obsolete or non-functional. There are now 11 stand-alone radio boxes on campus and one telephone-style box in front of each of the 10 residence halls.

One of the 21 new emergency call boxes installed on Western's campus this fall.

One of the 21 new emergency call boxes installed on Western’s campus this fall.

The call boxes have been installed to provide additional exterior security for the Western community, said A. Eugene McAbee, Western Carolina director of police and traffic services. They transmit directly to the campus police radio frequency to officers on patrol for quick response to anyone in need of police assistance.

“While these call boxes are for emergencies, we receive several calls a week from people that need vehicle assistance, directions, or need to report accidents. We encourage use of the call boxes for these purposes,” said McAbee.

The cost of the project was approximately $48,000 and was paid for from the traffic fund supported by campus vehicle registration fees. The call boxes cost between $3500 and $4300 each depending on whether they are solar powered or hardwired.

No specific incidents have encouraged the purchase of the call boxes. “We are just doing our best to make members of our community feel as safe as possible when they are on campus,” said McAbee.

The new emergency call boxes may be found at the following locations:

The Walker A Lot
The jogging trail at the golf shack
In front of Hunter Library
In the Baptist Church Lot
On Killian Plaza
In front of Brown Cafeteria
On Joyner Plaza in front of the Old Student Union
In the Field House Lot
In the Baseball Field Lot
The Intramural Fields at Outreach

Western Carolina’s police department intends to continue to expand the emergency call box system as funds become available. If you have suggestions on future locations for new call boxes contact McAbee at