Meet the people keeping Virginia Tech’s campus safe

BLACKSBURG, Va. – A dedicated group of Virginia Tech employees works to ensure campus safety every single day.

If you need help or have a problem on Virginia Tech’s campus, chances are, you’ll give Ashley Mcnew a call.

She’s the lead security center representative with the Virginia Tech Police Department. At the campus security center, she helps with everything -- whether you’re stuck in an elevator, locked out of your dorm, reporting a facility issue or involved in a hit-and-run.

“We’re kind of a one hat fits all.. we’re investigators, we’re confidants, everything that we can be,” said Mcnew.

The center falls under the Virginia Tech Police Department’s command.

Administrative Lt. Sean Smith says officers couldn’t do their job without the safety center employees.

“They serve as the heartbeat of our department and most everything we do involves the security center,” Smith said.

They’re charged with sending out Virginia Tech emergency alerts, running the Safe Ride program, monitoring the campus security cameras and managing all tips on the LiveSafe campus safety app.

“Every month, I would say around 1,000 calls or so. So I would say we get a lot of calls,” said Mcnew.

They’re not a dispatch center, so if you’re having an emergency-- you need to call 911.

But they work closely with the New River Valley 911 center to dispatch Virginia Tech Police when needed.

Mcnew says she and the other workers at the safety center are there 24/7 to serve the campus and the greater community.

“If you have a question, if you need assistance, if you just don’t know who to call, we’re here to help. We’ll help you the best way we can," said Mcnew.

If you need to reach Virginia Tech’s security center, call 540-231-6411.

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