The Trumpet

Campus Safety and Security: A Cause For Concern

Campus Safety and Security: A Cause For Concern

Photo Credit: Contributed

By: Brittania Witter

On Thursday, November 11, 2021, the United Student Movement’s (USM) Hilltop Trumpet in its second episode of season three of Topics on the Hill-a news and current affairs vidcast, tackled the issue of campus safety and security at Northern Caribbean University (NCU). 

With growing concerns from students like malfunctioning stop lights, lack of campus streetlights and infrequent debushing, hosts Truston Grizzle and Amoy Harriot sought answers from the university’s Director of Safety and Security, Mr. Renox Seivwright.  

According to Seivwright, the responsibility of the Office of Campus Security is to protect people on campus. 

“We have quite a few responsibilities some of which are not very evident when we are operating in this mode … in a general way we are responsible for protection that involves security and safety, and this is really in respect to legitimate people on campus,” he said. 

He mentioned the different responsibilities his office oversees and is in charge of.

“We are responsible for the security of physical assets, our buildings, vehicles, stuff like that. We are responsible to enforce rules, regulations and protocols we get from Disaster Risk Management in this period of the pandemic. We are involved in emergency management and anything like emergency response,” he said. 

 The director said they operate an ambulance service and when doing this, they work closely with the Health and Wellness department.

Seivwright added that the office also partakes in investigations of various kinds. These may include security breaches, accidents, hazardous conditions, misdemeanors, and felonious crimes. 

He also said that their office liaison with the civil authorities which include but are not limited to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB). 

Seivwright mentioned that with all the dorms being located within the perimeters of the main campus, whatever security provisions they have for the main campus will affect them directly or indirectly. 

When asked about the stoplight at the entrance of the university, Seivwright said it is not a security issue. From his understanding it belongs to NCU, so the National Works Agency (NWA) would not fix it as often as needed; however, he said this issue will be resolved shortly. 

One of the main concerns from students was an alleged break in at the Nutrition lab, but according to Seivwright there was not a report of a break in. 

“First, I can tell you that we don’t have a report of a break in. I would really call it a complaint- a  complaint of the lab losing items on a continuous basis. We are currently doing an investigation and what we found was that there is no forced entry to that building,” he said.

In terms of security personnel, Seivwright said they don’t have enough and with this pandemic they have lost approximately 70-80 percent of the student labor force; nevertheless,  they still manage to maintain the full time staff.  

As it relates to the issue of debushing on campus, it is outside the Department of Safety and Security’s domain, but Seivwright weighed in on the matter. 

“It is a legitimate concern and again this is one of the things outside of the realm of campus safety and security. The department with responsibility for this is really [Facilities and Planning]; however, anywhere there is overgrowth there are security concerns, so what we do is to step up vigilance in those spaces,” he said.

With the mention of vigilance and the approaching festive season, Seivwright assured the students that NCU is a minimal risk environment in regards to the increased criminal activities. 

He added that they do not have the number of incidents other places have, but usually for this time, they request an increase in patrol from the Mandeville Police Station.

While all these precautions are in mind, Seivwright said that things may not turn out this way all the time.

In his final words, Seivwright encouraged everyone to be security aware because personal safety and security is the responsibility of each individual.  


Related Posts

Facebook Comments