UTM Campus Police are expanding their force, having already hired three new building patrollers and proceeding to hire two special constables and three additional campus patrollers.
According to Campus Police manager Robert Messacar, who had transferred to UTM from UTSC last year, the increase is not due to an increase in crime, but rather an increase in student population and the increased presence of building patrollers is anticipated to further decrease the number of incidents on campus.
Recent Campus Police annual reports show a decrease in reported incidents of crime and other offences by 88 occurrences between 2013 and 2014.
“This is a very safe campus,” says Messacar. “Our goal is to make students feel safer on campus.”
Responsible for tasks including campus patrols and educating students, additional building patrollers will provide special constables with more time to respond to calls that are more serious and time consuming.
Special constables hold the same amount of authority held by regular police officers and undergo similar screening to that of a regular police officer, the only difference being that they’re only employed by UTM. Previously, special constables would oversee serious occurrences as well as performing tasks now assigned to building patrollers.
According to Messacar, the campus police budget increased this year, but only proportionally in order to cover the salaries of the new hires.
At UTSC, campus police plans to hire two new special constables, leaving them with 17 special constables by the end of the academic year. Campus police at U of T St. George currently employs 34 special constables and UTM’s special constable total will grow to 14 special constables following the acquisition of two new special constables.