Have a question about some aspect of working at NIH? You can post anonymous queries at www.nih.gov/nihrecord/index.htm (click on the Feedback icon) and we’ll try to provide answers.
Feedback: Recently, I’ve seen people dressed in
military type uniforms on campus, but they do
not look like U.S. military. Did the NIH Police get
new uniforms? Why do they look so combat-like?
NIH is supposed to be a welcoming place but the
new look makes this look like an armed camp.
Response from the Office of Research Services:
There have been many security-related
events over the years such as the terrorist
attack on 9/11, the Ft. Hood shooting,
the Navy Yard shooting and the tragic event
in Newtown, Conn., that impact how police
departments operate. In most police departments,
and at NIH as well, you no longer find
all police officers in the same dress uniforms.
The uniforms are now designed for the specific
duties in which the officers may be engaged.
The NIH Police have three basic dress types.
The regular dress uniform is worn by officers
executing basic police duties without regular
involvement in collateral assignments.
The second dress is a midnight blue uniform
worn by canine officers and officers who may
be engaged in assignments where they will be
in contact with dirt or other debris. The third
dress is an olive green uniform, not camouflaged
as are military versions, worn by police
who are members of the special response team.
This dress allows for easy identification of
these officers in case of an event where their
expertise is needed.
Feedback: I read the Feedback answer regarding
the Bldg. 31 escalators [NIH Record, May
22, 2015] with interest because I also wondered
about both. The answer provided didn’t
completely answer the question—why can’t
the “C” wing escalator be used as a staircase?
The person who sent in the question made a
good point about the lack of reliable elevators
in the “C” wing and being able to use that
short escalator to walk up to the “B” wing
would be helpful.
This escalator in the lobby of Bldg. 31C is slated to become a regular staircase.
Photo: Carla Garnett
Response from the Office of Research Facilities:
As previously reported, the C wing escalator
will eventually be decommissioned and
designs call for the replacement to be a fixed
staircase. The currently inoperable escalator is
not code-compliant for use as stationary stairs.
Code requires that stairs have a graspable handrail
and uniform risers, which an escalator does
At present, three separate staircases service
the C wing, including the additional fire safety
stairwell built in 2008 to improve emergency
Finally, maintenance reports researched by the
Office of Research Facilities do not correspond
with the assertion that the C wing elevators are
unreliable. Reports indicate a single isolated
day in the past year where the C wing had only
one operating elevator for any period of time.
Overall, these elevators have been performing
as expected, and on most days, all four elevators
are in operation.
Feedback: Why does the NIH Police force need
so many parking spaces? They have tons of spaces
in the old Bldg. 31 lot and recently acquired
more that used to be for temporary parking.
More police cars are parked in the garage. Given the push-back from the county on
parking at NIH, where is the average Joe supposed to park? Many NIH’ers don’t
have public transportation near their homes or, like me, work 50-60 hours a week,
which makes carpooling difficult. It seems you have to get to campus earlier and
earlier just to get a space, which is hard for parents with school-aged children. NIH
is touted as a great place for the over-50 age group but what about those of us who
aren’t seniors yet? What are we supposed to do?
Response from ORS: As a general practice, other than four spaces reserved in
MLP-10, police vehicles should not park in general parking in the garage other
than when the surface lot behind Bldg. 31 is being cleared during inclement weather.
The NIH Police chief will reiterate to staff that, whenever possible, police vehicles
should be parked in designated spaces only.
Feedback: There is a covered bus shelter containing a bench [across from Bldg. 3].
I saw a bus stopped there letting someone off, there is a sign saying it is an NIH
shuttle and a phone number, yet the bus would not stop for me. If this is indeed
not a stop it needs to be labeled as such to avoid confusion. If it is not used it
should be removed.
Response from ORS: We are very sorry for any inconvenience or confusion this
may have caused you. The shelter you mentioned across from Bldg. 3, on Center
Dr., is not a normal shuttle stop and had been labeled accordingly. Since you
have brought this to our attention, we checked and discovered that the label was
removed. We have now re-labeled the shelter as not being a regular shuttle stop.
The shelter was installed and belonged to Metro when they operated bus routes
through the NIH campus prior to Sept. 11, 2001. We have used the stop for special
contingencies and events. Currently, we are evaluating the need for this shelter
since it is used infrequently for these special activities.
To assist you with shuttle information, visit the ORS Division of Amenities and
Transportation Services (DATS) web site (www.ors.od.nih.gov/pes/dats/nihshuttleservices/
Pages/shuttle.aspx) to access all NIH shuttle schedules and stops. Also,
visit http://wttsshuttle.com from your mobile phone or smartphone to access
“real-time shuttle arrival” predictions in a mobile-friendly format.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention; feel free to contact DATS for any
transportation questions at (301) 402-RIDE (7433).