UT Health Science Center in midst of $20M security upgrades

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - One Mid-South university is upgrading its security.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is in the midst of more than $20 million in state-funded security upgrades.

"We went from about 300 cameras right now to about 1,200 cameras being installed campus wide," UTHSC Police Chief Anthony Berryhill said.

The enhancements will also include keyless locks on buildings and an emergency operations center where police will be able to lock down the campus on command in the event of an active threat.

"We'll be able to track that person by one button, push that button, and that camera will continue to follow them and the next camera that he goes into, that camera will be able to pick that person up," Berryhill said. "It helps that I recently retired from the Memphis Police Department, so I still know everyone very well and everybody knows me."

Berryhill's team will soon move from Court Avenue to two-story building headquartered on Jefferson Avenue that will house training areas and an indoor firing range.

The UTHSC campus has an app where students and staff can alert police if they are walking to or from class, especially at night, and want extra security.

Currently, the UTHSC Campus Police Department has 30 police officers and 26 security officer, but the state funds will allow the department to add manpower to its force.

In addition to ensuring safety on the campus, the department also provides a presence in the Medical District.

"These cameras and this access system is going to make a huge difference by just allowing us to control who is coming and going," Berryhill said.

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