Security shifts

Patrol is seeing changes this year as its budget is being cut in half and making room for a new security service.
Down from $124,000 to $62,000, the cuts come as there was a decision to have across-the-board reductions factored into each department.
Then there’s Northeastern Security Protection Services, which started on campus on April 27 at noon. The company was hired to aid Patrol with the maintenance of daily security and campus protection.
“We have to have a security company provide services to the university,” said George Cooper, president of King’s. “I’m sure we’re the only university in the world that doesn’t have professional security looking after us.”
Cooper added insurance was also an issue. He said, “If somebody came in and shot the place up… first thing the insurance company would say is, ‘Who was your security?’”
But the addition of the service brings with it cuts to hours and student staff. There will be a 30 per cent drop in the hours worked by students on Patrol and the number of employees is being cut from 50 to 35.
While there have been several changes to Patrol’s schedule, the director of facilities, Alex Doyle, assured all cuts are minimal and that the facilities department is “working very hard to create good student jobs that will support you during the year.”
Doyle said the first issue that was brought to him was about confusing campus security with campus interaction.
“Northeastern was hired to have security on campus,” he said. “They will be professional security for the outside of our buildings while Patrol will handle the residences and any issues with students.”
Nicholas Hatt, the dean of residence, confirmed that drop of 30 per cent in hours.
Hatt, who is in charge of Patrol, commented via email that these job cuts are a drop in the bucket to overall student campus jobs.
Although it may seem like a drastic change, Daniel Whitten, one of three student supervisors for this year’s Patrol, is hopeful the interaction between Northeastern Security and Patrol will go smoothly.
“Now we have an extra resource, an extra person to call,” said Whitten. “Now you’ll see us more in residences than in other places. Patrol will be taking care of students.”
In the past King’s had both a security service and a Patrol team until budget cuts caused the university to depend solely on Patrol for security.
For two years Patrol was looking after student conflicts as well as locking up, surveying campus buildings after hours and dealing extensively with vandals and break-ins.
It was announced in May that the shift in security would coincide with the closure of residence, allowing for a lengthy adjustment period before the fall semester.
Both Doyle and Whitten believe there will be no overtly noticeable security changes for upper year students, and Patrol and Northeastern Security should eventually work as a seamless team.
“We need to form a rhythm with security and get to know them as people,” Whitten said.

By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

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