Reports made by students to UTM’s police in the last couple of weeks cited stolen items valued under $5000 in the Kaneff Centre, Instructional Building, and Davis Building. There was also a fraud case involving an online resale of parking permits “at inflated prices”, as reported by the police.
Robert Messacar, the manager of the campus police services, told The Medium that this year’s decrease in crime rate comes as a result of hiring additional staff, including two new special constables and six new building patrollers, who serve as security guards.
“We’re down from 93 in 2014 to 63 in 2015 [the latest annual report],” said Messacar, regarding the decrease of theft rates under $5000.
“I attribute a great part of this to increased officer presence around the campus. Plus, we’re also engaging in educational initiatives […] like if [the campus police] sees a student leaving a laptop [unattended], then they will try and educate the student.”
Additional training of the new campus police staff, according to the annual report, is provided through a collaboration between the UTM Campus Police and the Peel Regional Police Training Bureau: “[The] Peel Police [are] offering courses in a variety of subjects, including Use of Force, Advanced Patrol Training, Mental Health Awareness training, etc.,” stated part of the report.
In regards to new changes of safety programs on campus, Messacar mentioned an expansion of the WalkSafer and Work Alone programs. “[The WalkSafer program] used to operate in the late evening on Mondays to Fridays. Now it is 24/7 […].”
Messacar also stated that more radios have been purchased to support the Work Alone program.
“We encourage people, say, if they’re working in a lab, to take one of these radios for any personal safety issues. With these radios, you can contact the officers directly,” said Messacar.