The role of the security officer has evolved immensely over the years — we’re not just watchpersons sitting behind a desk.
The members of Campus Enforcement and Patrol (CEP) at Grenfell Campus are first responders, investigators, campus ambassadors, even customer liaison officers.
As the security force for Memorial University in Corner Brook, our main responsibility is to provide a safe learning, working and living environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors. Our officers take on multiple roles, providing assistance, advice and consultation, promoting security and safety awareness, protecting property and enhancing student support services such as Walk Safe, lone worker/wellness or status checks.
Officers respond and are responsible for investigations of all campus related criminal activity, which could include disturbances, assaults, illegal drugs, fraud, criminal harassment, domestic disturbances, theft, weapons offences, cybercrime, just to name a few. We work closely and in conjunction with police on all criminal matters, as well as with all emergency services, internal departments and outside agencies.
And our officers accomplish all of this not only in our CEP vehicles, but on foot. While patrolling campus, officers walking about 19,000 steps — that’s 16 km per shift. Just to give you some context, in 2017 they answered/responded to 23,500 calls for service.
Two of the fundamental components of security work are: one, to be observant in the protection of life and property, and two, to recognize behaviours of concern, thereby preventing an incident or crime from happening. The officers we hire are adept in these facets, having obtained training through appropriate security training programs, and many have bring with them years of experience. Officers on our team receive continuous training to meet constantly changing standards. Our trained security officers have approachable, professional, helpful personalities who work well with our changing student, faculty and staff demographics. It is extremely important to build a professional rapport with the campus community to be effective in your role on a day-to-day basis.
In addition, officers have to be excellent communicators and understand young adult behaviour. They must be good listeners and be sensitive to the concerns of others, and be mindful when new students arrive to campus for the first time, because they can experience increased anxiety as they try to blend in to campus and academic life.
Keep in mind that we have about 600 young adults between the ages of 18 to 24 who live on campus — in some instances this may be their first time away from home without close family support. They are required to adjust to stresses of living on their own, living in a diverse population with increased financial, social and academic pressures. These changes can sometimes cause increased anxiety, depression and can bring on behaviours of concern. Our officers work closely with our Counselling Centre and Student Services Department to assist students and ensure we provide support and programming they may need to help them cope and succeed.
We all work together, facing the challenges that are put before us to ensure our students are empowered and have the finest of learning and academic experiences while at Grenfell Campus.
Manager of Campus Enforcement and Patrol