Students, university partner to promote neighbourhood safety
Campus Security and the Alma Mater Society (AMS) are working together to enhance safety in the neighbourhood surrounding campus.
“We welcomed the opportunity to partner with the AMS and conduct a safety audit of the near-campus neighbourhood,” says David Patterson, Director, Campus Security. “We hope to make people more aware of their surroundings. We encourage them to contact the appropriate person if they feel public safety is compromised by an environmental feature such as a burned-out streetlight or a sightline blocked by an overgrown bush.”
Trained Campus Security staff members conduct Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) audits around university property on a consistent basis. The Municipal Affairs Commission (MAC) of the AMS wanted to draw on this expertise to evaluate the near-campus neighbourhood, something that hadn’t been done since 1997.
“We are always looking for new initiatives that promote student safety on- and off-campus. This is a great collaboration that combines the expertise of Campus Security with students’ unique knowledge of the area,” says Troy Sherman, Municipal Affairs Commissioner, AMS. “The strong working relationship the AMS has with the university and the City of Kingston makes this type of project possible and sets us apart from other town-gown relationships in Ontario.”
Throughout the fall term, teams of three – a Campus Security staff member along with a male and a female student – conducted foot patrols of the area bounded by King Street East, King Street West, Princess Street, and Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard. The teams stayed on sidewalks and other public property and did not enter private property.
The MAC and Campus Security will report back this month to Student Affairs’ Campus Safety Working Group as well as the Quality of Life Working Group, which is part of the Town Gown Strategic Plan. They also hope to work with the City of Kingston and property owners over the next several months to bring about safety improvements in the area based on their findings.