Wassup, criminals?

By Allie Smyth

Hazing, abandoned children, theft, tampering and traffic awareness all kept Campus Security busy this month.

Mild concern prompted security officers to investigate the practice of Dino Athletics "hazing rituals," performed when teams welcome new members to the fold. The activities themselves were deemed to be innocuous, yet interesting. Campus Security Manager Lanny Fritz visited the Den during one sports cabaret to observe the behaviour for himself.

"I was surprised to see one guy wearing nothing but a diaper," he laughed.

Closed circuit TV cameras caught a non-student male acting suspiciously around a Campus Security vehicle. On film, it appeared that the individual was threatening the integrity of the tires.

"The Calgary Police Service attended and charged the man with unauthorized tampering of a motor vehicle," said Fritz.

There were three reports of computer component theft from the recently opened Information and Computer Technologies building. Computer parts were discovered missing from the ICT labs.

"These thefts are similar to past thefts that occurred from Scurfield Hall," said Fritz. "CPS is investigating."

Officers responded to complaints that a 10-year-old boy was left alone in the Learning Commons of MacKimmie Library while his mother worked her shift with Food Services.

"People may perceive the university campus, with thousands of people around, to be safe," said Fritz. "However, no place is absolutely safe and for those reasons parents and guardians of children must keep their children under supervision including while on campus."

A triggered alarm in a high-security biohazard lab turned out to be a false alert.

"We’re not going to put ourselves at risk," said Fritz. "There should be no officer safety concerns responding to [an alarm of this nature] but given that it was a level three lab it does get the attention of our officers."

Campus Security launched the new Traffic Awareness Program this month, designed to enhance Safety Services by raising awareness of speed limits and other traffic issues on campus. The program involved monitoring speeds in the playground zones on Campus, a postering campaign and information sessions in MacEwan Student Centre.

In a letter thanking Campus Security for this initiative, the University Child Care Centre wrote, "Parents have commented repeatedly on their appreciation of campus officers in their diligence to provide a safe environment for the campus community."

Campus Security officers also participated in philanthropic duties by contributing two backpacks full of school supplies to the CPS School Supply Drive. The drive benefits Calgary children.

"We work closely with the [Calgary] police and our [officers] wanted to participate and contribute" said Fritz.

Early-year inquiries and issues coupled with the recent move of the Campus Security offices may have contributed to an unprecedented number of calls to Security Dispatch in September.

"We had 4,121 phone calls this month, that’s about 1,000 more than usual," said Fritz.

A follow-up on the assault of an officer in late August revealed that the individual involved was charged with assault after investigation by CPS. The officer has since returned to full duty.

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