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Campus Police emergency communications system helps to secure international marathon

Helping the US Department of Homeland Security keep an eye on runners during Sunday’s Detroit Free Press Marathon can only help to prove the value of cross-border cooperation, says Chris Zelezney.

The Campus Police sergeant in charge of emergency preparedness, he opened the University’s Emergency Operations Centre to Windsor first responders during the race, which saw more than 20,000 runners cross the Ambassador Bridge and Windsor-Detroit Tunnel.

“This should bring a watershed where we can actually make cross-border emergency communications more efficient,” Zelezney says. “This is the first time we have applied practical operability across the two countries’ systems.”

Windsor fire fighters monitored radio traffic during the race and used campus security cameras mounted along Huron Church Road to oversee marathon participants.

“We have run simulations in the past, but this is our first real use,” Zelezney says. “We were just providing support, but even so, we have learned a lot that we can apply in the future.”