Security’s lack of communication indefensible

By on November 4, 2009

Two issues ago, Chief of Security and Safety John Twining said that, to his knowledge, there were zero incidents in the York Hill parking garage.

One issue ago, junior Gina Curcio told the Chronicle that, during the first weekend of school, she was approached by an unknown man in the York Hill parking garage, filed an incident report, and was questioned by a security officer over the phone.

The Chronicle approached Twining again to reconcile the two fact sets above. After researching the reporting system further, Twining said, he discovered that Curcio did file a report on Sept. 11.

Therein, Quinnipiac’s chief of security was unaware of the only incident report filed about the York Hill parking garage, until approached by the Chronicle.

This instance magnifies a very vulnerable rift in Quinnipiac safety. If the chief of security is misinformed or uninformed, he cannot accurately gauge the safety of the university.

Quinnipiac security starts from a lot of different places. It begins with the students, as Twining often notes. It begins with proper protection in the dorms and academic buildings. But it also begins and ends with Quinnipiac security employees, who have resources and experience to do things that no one else on campus is qualified to do. When a student like Gina Curcio files an incident report, she expects it to become known to, if not all members of security, at least the chief of security.

Security has ears and eyes where students do not, with officers patrolling the student center and cameras in the York Hill parking garage. They have immediate radio contact with resident assistants and facilities workers. They work alongside Hamden police every weekend. They have a proper communication set-up that is running 24 hours a day.

But this communication system must work properly and efficiently. Security officers should be recording and dispatching incident reports accurately, and notifying the proper people.

Twining did have knowledge of some incident in the parking garage: “It may have been the same incident (as Curcio’s), it may not have been,” he said in an interview.

That lack of knowledge is indefensible.

Blame need not be placed, for blame will solve no problems in this case. But all members of the security staff must be, with no exceptions, responsible and accountable.

The Chronicle commends the Student Government Association, in particular junior representative Benjamin Wald, for their work in addressing security issues on York Hill. Equally deserving are the residence hall directors and resident assistants for doing their duty.

To the administration: Consider an evaluation of Quinnipiac security communication processes. Make sure the proper outlets are aware and fully informed. With a recent hiring for more officers, make sure money is being spent in the proper places.

If there is any rift in security communication, something is bound to fall through the cracks.

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