Silent alarms have been installed in several classrooms, offices


Buildings renovated in the past year on Pitt’s campus have been equipped with silent alarms in classrooms and offices.

Shawn Ellies, Integrated Security director and commander for Pitt Police, said Pitt is taking campus safety seriously, and these silent alarms are a part of that mission.

So far, these alarms have been installed in classrooms and offices in David Lawrence and Posvar halls and some floors on the Cathedral of Learning. The installations took place over the summer.

Pitt buildings and classrooms already come outfitted with external lock and alarm systems. The goal for these silent alarms, Ellies said, is to give professors an added layer of assistance during emergencies so they can secure their classroom.

When an alarm is triggered, a notification is sent directly to the Pitt Police communication room. From there, officers can lock the room and examine the situation to determine an appropriate reaction.

While Ellies didn’t name the specific classrooms and locations within these buildings, citing security concerns, he said that the Registrar’s Office has sent professors notifications and instructions when they use a classroom with an alarm in it.

In the future, Ellies said, the University will work to install a type of electronic lock system on classroom doors. 

Donovan Harrell is a reporter for the University Times. Reach him at or 412-383-9905.