Downed police phone services spark concerns, prompts campuswide email


Chief of Police Jason Wu sent an campuswide email alert Wednesday afternoon at 12:50 p.m., notifying students the University Police Department Dispatch Center phone services have been restored.

In the email, Wu said the University recognizes a string of power outages within a few days sparked confusion among students.

The University also sent an email at about 7:43 a.m., informing students the emergency phone service was experiencing technical issues due to the power outages.

Wu also said students who are in need of emotional support should contact Counseling and Psychological Services, and also reach out to Campus Alliance for a Risk-free Environment (CARE) for campus escorts if they feel threatened.

Some students expressed concerns about the University’s response time informing the community about emergencies, which transferred calls over to San Francisco Police Department.

Nikki West, a Women and Gender Studies graduate student, said it is concerning that phone services at the emergency dispatch center were offline.

West said she is relieved that the services are restored because SFPD takes longer to respond to events near campus than University Police.

“If I were to call and I needed police assistance, it would be a little concerning,” she said. “Because I live closer to the school than any other [SFPD] patrolling police officers who would come [to the scene of the incident].”

William Wendellman, photojournalism major, said he was not affected directly by the University’s emergency downed phone lines, but said he’d feel differently if he were in a situation where he needed to call 911.

“I would definitely hope there is backup plan if the lines were down,” Wendelman said. “It would definitely make me feel unsafe to know if there was an emergency and I couldn’t contact anybody. I mean it’s just a power outage right, not an apocalypse happening.”

Tuesday’s power outage was caused by a damaged power line according to an anonymous source from Residential Life.

On Feb. 25, the campus suffered a mass power outage at 11 p.m. a few hours after a shooting within a block off campus.

The following day, campus residents expressed concerns at a Town Hall meeting about how SF State administrators failed to inform students in a timely manner about the possible shooter threat.