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Police Add Emergency Call Boxes to Parking Areas

The Capitol Police Department is in the process of installing 100 emergency call boxes in parking lots and garages across the Capitol campus.

The stainless steel boxes, which stand about 3 feet tall, are topped by blue lights that flash when the emergency call button is pressed. The boxes are also labeled with reflective “Emergency” decals.

“If you park in a lot of these lots and you leave late at night, especially in the winter, it helps you feel a little bit safer,” said Capitol Police spokeswoman Jessica Gissubel.

Each box is equipped with an emergency call button that automatically connects a user to the Capitol Police and sounds a duress alarm to help officers identify the box’s location. According to an information sheet on the units, the emergency button also activates “any and all cameras in the vicinity.”

The boxes have already been installed in garages in the Rayburn House Office Building, Hart and Dirksen Senate office buildings and several outdoor parking lots, with additional units to be installed elsewhere on the Capitol grounds in coming weeks.

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