By: Sophie Desrosiers
Most of Algonquin’s 19 000 fulltime students probably don’t put a lot of thought into safety on campus, and thanks to a dedicated security staff, they don’t need to.
The guards, contracted out by Garda which has offices worldwide, play a bigger role than people may realize. They watch the security camera feeds from their office and also patrol by foot, by car and when weather permits, by bike.
They are also trained in many areas including first aid, use of force and WHMIS. Additionally, they are trained to recognize the signs of a person experiencing suicidal thoughts, and how to handle the situation properly.
Security is present on campus 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and they are always improving their services using the latest technological advances. Like the mobile app launched last fall, which provides students with a copy of the emergency procedures should they ever find themselves in an urgent situation. The app also features a large button that will directly connect you to the office’s emergency line, which rings differently than the regular line.
Another service offered by security in an attempt to make the school as safe as possible is Walk Safe. If a student or faculty member feels unsafe, they may request a guard to escort them from one place to another on campus.
Algonquin’s effort towards keeping students and faculty safe is paying off. The statistics for 2012 were recently released and of all of the reports filed last year, only 5.8% were violence-related reports.
Second year early childhood education student Leah Lesage says despite some of her classes ending later, she never feels unsafe on campus, a thought echoed by many others.