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Learn more about UNT's emergency planning and safety procedures

(Editor's note Sept. 28: Here are frequently asked questions and answers about emergency response and security on the UNT campus, posted in conjunction with a message from President V. Lane Rawlins about a shooting incident at the University of Texas at Austin.)

Who responds to emergencies at UNT?  

The first responders in most cases will be the UNT Police. They will assess the situation and call for additional assistance if needed. They may call on:  

  • City of Denton Fire Department, Paramedics and Police
  • Denton and/or Fort Worth Hazardous Materials teams
  • UNT/County/State Emergency Management Resources
  • State and Federal Resources (DPS, FBI, ATF, EPA, etc.)
  • Other agencies/organizations as appropriate to address the emergency.

What is the role of UNT Police in emergency situations?  

The UNT Police Department is a full-service law enforcement agency. The department is accredited by both the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. Its primary concerns are the safety of all members of the university community and the protection of state and personal property. 

All police officers are trained in responding to high-risk incidents and emergency response situations.  Additionally, the department has a critical incident response team and a K-9 unit trained to detect explosives.

UNT is also supported as needed by tactical capabilities of other area agencies; including, Denton Police, Denton County Sheriff and the Texas Department of Public Safety among others. 

What protective measures does the Department of Housing and Residence Life provide for the safety of residential students? 

Security in residence halls is provided in a number of ways, including:

  • Electronic computerized ID card access systems that ensure only residents are permitted access during evening and night hours.
  • Each residence hall has its own key system for student rooms. The keys are controlled by computerized key boxes that limit access. UNT has a patent on the key blanks used for the rooms and only the Housing Key Shop can make keys for residence halls.
  • During daylight hours, visitors must enter through the front door and pass by the reception desk.
  • Learn more at

How can students on the campus report problems that require police aid or inform the UNT Police about emergency situations? 

Students should dial 911 from their cell phone or any other phone on campus for an emergency. Additionally, there are more than 50 emergency telephones placed across the campus. When the talk button is activated, the caller can speak directly with a police dispatcher. 

What is UNT’s policy regarding weapons on campus? 

State law prohibits the possession of firearms in any building on the UNT campus. This prohibition includes those persons licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Violations of state law or university policies will result in immediate action, including arrest and prosecution, referral to the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities and/or disciplinary action for faculty and staff. Possession of explosives is prohibited anywhere on campus. 

Where can the university community and parents get accurate information and updates during an emergency? 

Police and other emergency responders will need to devote full-time to taking care of the crisis situation. Therefore, during emergency situations at UNT, first priorities for the Division of University Relations Communications and Marketing will include activating the Eagle Alert system, establishing a communications center and providing updates.

What kinds of communication vehicles does the university have in place to respond to critical incidents? 

UNT is aware that rapid and reliable communication with our constituents is necessary to manage crises and ensure business continuity. Accordingly, the university has many communication vehicles in place, which it uses as needed when communicating with our internal and external constituents. 

  • Eagle Alert is a messaging system that allows UNT administrators to quickly contact the campus community by phone and text about emergency situations affecting the safety and well being of people on and around the UNT campus. Each member of the UNT campus community should login to and click on the Eagle Alert icon to verify that their contact information is up to date. The system sends voice messages and text to phones, cell phones and PDAs of everyone with an EUID account in UNT's EIS system.
  • The university issues e-mailed Official Notices to faculty and staff about issues of health and safety. 
  • The university uses Eagle Connect to send official and other kinds of messages to students.
  • UNT's InHouse website provides internal constituents information about critical issues.
  • UNT’s home page also will be used to provide information about critical issues and other concerns.
  • UNT also may post fliers throughout campus buildings when there are threats to our community's health and safety.  
  • To alert our resident students about emergencies in residence halls, UNT uses Resident Assistants and other staff who live in the halls, as well as specific housing notification systems.  
  • UNT maintains a list of e-mail addresses provided to us by our students' parents. When appropriate, the university sends information to these parents. To subscribe to the e-mail list, send your request to or call Melissa McGuire, director of orientation and transition, at 940-565-2166, or call Parent Programs at 940-565-4373.
  • UNT has a 1-800 number set aside for emergency purposes. The number is activated and published when an emergency or other situation would cause a large number of people to contact the university at once for specific information.  
  • The university has electronic publications such as UNT Insider, the president’s e-newsletter for alumni and friends that can be updated and distributed quickly. 
  • The university has an active relationship with Dallas-Fort Worth and North Texas media outlets, and has a plan to provide them with immediate and continuous information in the event of an emergency situation.  

What services are available for persons who need counseling? 

UNT offers a wide range of counseling services to students (and others in the university community) who may be having problems with stress, concentration, grief and depression.

Students may seek help from the Counseling and Testing Center in Chestnut Hall, Suite 311. This service is free. The center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and may be reached by calling 940-565-2741. Learn more

Faculty and staff may seek free counseling from the Employee Assistance Program at 800-343-3822.

In addition, UNT has created a network of professionals from across campus that are committed to a caring, confidential program of identification, intervention and response in order to provide our students with the greatest chance of success and our community with the greatest level of protection. These professionals are part of the Care Team which proactively checks on students who have shown signs of distress either in their academic work on personal lives to offer counseling services.

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