A national communications company will demonstrate a high-tech digital siren system Thursday (June 5) on West Virginia Universitys Downtown Campus.

Staley Communication Inc. will conduct the demonstration beginning at 2 p.m. near Stansbury Hall to help WVU Police and other area emergency service agencies learn more about the capabilities of modern siren systems to alert their communities. The company will park a truck in Parking Area 11, near Stansbury, and lift a siren on a small mobile crane.

The siren will send out different tones that will likely be heard at various times after 2 p.m. and in different places on the Downtown Campus. The sounds, which may be loud and/or heard within classrooms, are simply a demonstration of the system and not a cause for concern, said WVU Police assistant director Rick Jackson.

This is a demonstration only, and people should not be alarmed,Jackson said.The purpose is to help law enforcement learn how sound will travel among the hills, streets and closely packed buildings on the Downtown Campus.

In the past, siren systems were capable of limited sounds, but with digital technology, sirens have the capability of multiple tones and possess additional features that were never available before,he added.We want to see how these new sirens actually operate and can best serve our needs.

Law enforcement organizations throughout the county, including the local detachment of the West Virginia State Police and Morgantown Police Department, have been invited to attend the demonstration. Officials from WVU s regional campuses, Potomac State College and WVU Institute of Technology, have also been invited, Jackson said.

Over the past year, WVU has initiated many new safety measures, including a text-message emergency alert system, information screens, mass e-mailing, student walking patrols on the Downtown Campus and improved lighting. University officials continue to examine additional ways to enhance safety.

The University is taking a layered approach to rapid emergency notification, and it is important to examine all options, including the potential of modern siren systems to alert our community, said WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts. The University has not made any final decisions on implementing a particular siren system, he said, but WVU Police are working hard to learn as much as possible about what kinds of digital siren systems are available and what these systems can do.

We are looking at all available and best technologies to enhance safety on campus and emergency notification capabilities,Roberts said.We need to know what will work most effectively and what will fit best into WVU s overall, comprehensive security planning.