Campus Security moves to Student Services

Thomas Hansen, Staff Writer
March 26, 2013

Campus Security has moved to the student services department in an attempt to reflect the new scope of its duties.
Security previously fell under the jurisdiction of administrative services, which is primarily responsible for maintaining the campus’ buildings and grounds.
President Joe Dunlap said that the change is part of an added emphasis on safety and security, and that the administration is committed to this initiative.
“Back in the day security served mostly to open doors and close doors, and lock buildings,” said Graydon Stanley, vice president of student services. “It has certainly changed in the last five years, and even more rapidly, in the last two years.”
Graydon said that there is a heightened expectation for campus security to play a critical role in ensuring safety on campus.
Stanley said campus safety concerns were heightened after an incident occurred last fall involving a student making threats towards the campus resulted in several days of police presence.
Campus security will primarily answer to Alex Harris, director of student development, who is responsible for issues of student conduct.
“It’s become apparent that it makes a lot of sense for people that deal with students on a daily basis, that are responsible for students’ conduct, the people that are in touch with what’s going on with the students on a daily basis, that security reports to us,” Harris said.
With any issues involving student misconduct falling under Harris’ jurisdiction, Harris said that this change removes an unneeded layer between himself and campus security.
Harris said that because campus security operates out of the general fund of the campus budget there will not be any changes financially beyond administrative oversight on how money is spent.
“The changes are a lot of behind-the-scenes administrative changes,” Harris said. “Will students see a difference? I think so, eventually. It may not necessarily be because they’re now reporting in this structure, but it will more be because we have a new emphasis on revising some plans and implementing other things.”
Harris said that the process is in early stages, and that many changes will be operating procedures, and revamping emergency procedures. They will also be training faculty in these new emergency procedures.
In addition to the move into student services, NIC administrators have approved new acquisitions as part of this security initiative.
Campus security will get access to a new database which allows more efficient and effective tracking and saving of information.
It will also allow campus security to track where incidents commonly occur, and allow security to be more proactive in the prevention of incidents.
The purchase of 140 interior locks for $25,000 has also been approved. This will allow classrooms to be locked from the inside which is necessary in events such as lockdowns.
“We’re real action oriented now. We’re not just going to talk the talk, but we’re going to walk the walk,” Graydon said. “We’re going to have locks on doors, we’re going to have security working this way, we’re going to practice different kinds of trainings, we’re going to have a warning system that communicates well to people what’s going on and what to do.”
Graydon said that although it may not happen this year, there is also a goal to acquire a resource officer. He said that somebody who qualified and trained in law enforcement would allow for a much quicker response.
A resource officer is a police officer assigned to work with a school and their administration.
Harris said that many of the changes will take time to implement, but that visible progress should be made in time for the next school year.

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