In Focus News

Security changes continue

Haven’t recognized the familiar faces of Northeastern Security around campus in a while? There’s a good reason: they’ve been replaced.

(Photo: Zarko Drincic, via Flickr Creative Commons)

Haven’t recognized the familiar faces of Northeastern Security around campus in a while? There’s a good reason: they’ve been replaced.
In December, Northeastern Protection Services was given the boot and facilities hired Source Security & Investigations.
Campus security has been under constant flux since May when Northeastern became King’s first security service since 2009. From the outside, Patrol and Northeastern seemed to be working seamlessly.
Gerald Wilson, manager and former director of facilities, said, “there were a couple of small issues that we couldn’t seem to resolve (with Northeastern).”
These “small issues” supposedly do not include the disheveled man Elizabeth Whitten found sleeping in Angel’s Roost on Nov. 4.
In an article Whitten published on King’s, she describes being in her room with friends when she smelled what she thought must have been garbage left in the hall.
Whitten was shocked to find a man huddled on the floor of the emergency stairwell. She believes he was simply trying to find shelter from a frigid Halifax night.
The man was suspected to have accessed the stairwell through its entrance on the ground floor of the A&A, but the door is only made to open from the inside.
Without any signs of forced entry, Wilson believes it must have been propped open either to let the man in or was simply propped and forgotten about.
Wilson said it would have been a problem if facilities thought Northeastern didn’t do their tour of the stairwell that evening. “But that isn’t the case,” he said. “Someone can sneak in between checks, and no one can help that.”
Stephanie Cooper of Source Security is now the site supervisor at King’s. After moving into an empty office in December, she said she had to start from “scratch” to establish a reliable security team.
“I picked seasoned workers,” Cooper said. “No one told us why Northeastern was removed.”
However, after hesitating to enter the A&A elevator and continue her shift, Cooper said she doesn’t understand why King’s needs outside security. “Usually, if security is brought in, it’s because something happened.”
Wilson stands by his belief that Northeastern was just not the right fit for King’s. End of story.
He says the firm was hired on a term basis, and facilities was free to move on to another company at any time if things weren’t “working out”.
Source Security has been employed under the same understanding. “If we had problems tomorrow, we’re not in a contract where we have to keep them on,” Wilsonsaid.
With the position of King’s security service up in the air — at least until facilities makes a definite decision — it looks changes in security may continue.

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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