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Critical report faults University security

By Austen Hufford, Daily Staff Reporter
Published October 21, 2012

The report further noted: “DPS police officers appear to be directing their attention towards validation from the greater law enforcement community and away from their focus on serving a university community as a community-oriented campus public safety organization.”

On Friday, a report by the University’s Safety and Security Steering Committee was also released explaining the progress of the University’s management response to an internal audit of the child pornography incident.

Many of the responses to the >internal audit also answer concerns expressed in the Margolis Healy assessment, which was largely conducted in April.

The committee said it has addressed the recommendations made in the internal audit, adding that it informed many University employees about their responsibility to report suspected crimes.

Since early April, assigned DPS liaison officers have been required to contact the Hospital Security shift supervisors daily during the day and afternoon shifts, according to the committee report. The committee said it also implemented cross-unit training and team-building exercises between units.

The committee also noted that the University’s 911 system has changed. Previously, 911 calls made in University hospital buildings would go to a hospital emergency operator who would then dispatch Hospital Security officers if needed. Those officers would then decide if contacting DPS was necessary.

Under the new system, DPS is able to monitor all 911 calls to the Hospital emergency center and can be patched in as necessary.

The committee also authorized the creation of shared databases between the three units. This allows each unit to access security reports and dispatch information from one another more easily. While the system is currently not updated in real time, the committee said that feature will be implemented by next month.

The regents released a statement Friday condemning the lack of communication between the security organizations and vowing to fix the problem, mainly through the creation of the DPSS.

“The relationships and communication between the University’s Health System Security and the Department of Public Safety are broken and demand repair,” the statement said. “There must be a University-wide system that guarantees timely and effective communication of potential serious misconduct, as well as the safety and security of all of our University constituencies.”

— Ariana Assaf contributed to this report.