Last Monday, a loud voice sounded across campus mid-afternoon, repeating phrases such as “this is a drill” and “one, two, three…” An investigation promptly started to find its source.
The obnoxious noise that could be heard from the Reynolds Center to University Square Apartments was simply a sales pitch to TU’s Director of Campus Security from the LRAD Corporation. It was a demo of the company’s Mobile Mass Notification System.
The acronym LRAD stands for Long Range Acoustic Device.
Students who were walking around campus at roughly 3:30 p.m. were shocked and confused.
Freshman Braden Turner said, “The counting terrified me!”
The Director of Campus Security, Joe Timmons, said if the University were to look into this product, it would only be as an enhancement to the current system.
“I probably have three or four vendors a week that come trying to sell the latest and greatest thing that’s out there,” said Timmons.
The vast majority of these tests don’t interrupt the daily lives of students.
Timmons said some vendors are impressed by the security systems that the University already has in place.
“It goes from a sales pitch to, ‘Hey! Can I use you guys as a showroom of what other clients could be doing,’” Timmons bragged.
The LRAD Corporation is also doing business with the City of Muskogee according to a Channel 6 report. Muskogee plans to use their devices for emergency weather alerts.
The university has not made plans to purchase the system from LRAD, and even if they do, the ominous counting won’t become a regular thing.