ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In the late ’90s, Central New Mexico Community College installed 86 emergency phones in tall blue poles on all six of their campuses. Now though, CNM says these phones are outdated and plans to remove all of them.
“I think they’re important and I don’t think it’s a good idea to take them down,” CNM student, Chanel Lucero said.
Lucero isn’t alone. All of the students KRQE News 13 spoke with say even though they haven’t used an emergency phone, they like having them on campus.
“I enrolled a little bit late and the classes that were available are all night classes. I was wondering if we would still have them because classes are late, and like she said, it’s not really safe to be on campus,” CNM student, Maraah Yapah said.
“I think it’s weird that they’re taking them out because I’ve never been in that situation, but like, it comforts me to know that they’re there. You know what I mean? In case something did happen to me,” CNM student, Joshlyn Fuentes said.
CNM says no one has used an emergency phone in an emergency situation since 2007.
“It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it,” CNM student, Dave Platt said.
In an email, a spokesperson for CNM told KRQE News 13, “With the proliferation of cell phones as a common personal item, there is little use for the blue phones nowadays.”
The email went on to say CNM is working on “ramping up and modernizing” their security efforts. They cite increasing foot and bike patrols, installing more security cameras and the hiring of “parking ambassadors” who will monitor often and help students in need.
“I think it’s a really good idea that they keep those even though they’re not being used. That’s okay. No use is good use,” Platt said.
CNM says on top of being obsolete, the blue phones often malfunctioned and that cell phones are more reliable. CNM also says the upkeep to maintain the “outdated” technology is “not a wise investment of public resources.”
Many of the poles are already wrapped up with “Out of Service” banners or have their emergency call buttons covered with metal bolted to the poles.
CNM says all the phones will be removed by the end of this year.