Wake Forest Police Department Locks Its Doors for Safety's Sake
Posted February 16, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
WAKE FOREST — How do people who work in a police department protect themselves? By locking the doors.
Employees at the Wake Forest Police Department and 911 dispatch center say they are scared. Town leaders are answering their call for help.
Rose Allen is busy all night long, answering phones, dispatching officers, and dealing with whoever steps up to her window. Like many dispatchers, Allen does not carry a weapon.
One night, that person was a man who stabbed himself while Allen watched.
"All of a sudden he started making no sense at all, like saying 'why did you do this to me?'" Allen says.
"He threw his arm out, and he had a razor blade in it, and he just stabbed it right here," Allen points to her wrist, "and just pulled it."
Major Greg Dixon says the department is just trying to do whatever it can to protect personnel.
That protection includes a surveillance camera, and a locked door with an intercom system linked to the operator inside.
"Our telecommunications operator has the option of buzzing in whoever they want to after those hours if they feel safe or not," Dixon says. "If they don't feel safe they can have the individual wait outside until a police officer can arrive on the scene to assist them."
Allen believes the improvements will benefit everyone. "I think that it's much safer. I can monitor the parking area and all the activities that go on," she says.
The new system will be up and running from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., starting in two weeks.