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The Nigerian Coat of Arm has "Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress" inscribed as the national motto. For several years the motto was "Unity and Faith". The addition of "Peace and Progress" was a kind of response to a carefully thought out philosophy that brings out the best of the national objective and focus. Peace is sine-qua-non to meaningful progress and that is why it is never expensive to seek peace at all cost. Progress can only be made in atmosphere of peace. Unfortunately there are so many factors and issues that militate against peace in human community. So, peace should be sought at all times at home, community and in the nation. The need to have peace at all times cannot be underestimated.
Ocassional face-off between the security personnel and other stakeholders in university campuses is not unconnected with how both parties perceive each other. While the security men are seen as being less educated and too overzealous in the discharge of their duties by both the staff and students, the security perceive the academia, students and non-teaching staff as arrogant and undisciplined . The perceptions of both parties are misplaced for none is right. Hence, there must be a way to reach compromise and have better understanding and perception of each other in order to promote peace and maintain security on campus.
What is peace:
Peace in the military palance, may be conceived as absence of war. This will be too narrow a definition for an academic setting. It would rather be defined as the existence of conducive atmosphere within the academic environment that is learner and worker friendly that guarantees freedom, security of lives and property and devoid of harassment, intimidation, molestation or any form of threat or violence. A peaceful academic environment will be serene, quiet, and lively. It will exude brightness and be fascinatingly condusive for learning. It is the kind of situation that the management of the institution will want to promote at all times and by all means.
Stakeholders in Academic Environment:
Who are the stakeholders in an academic environment? They are individuals and/or organizations that have a stake in what goes on in the institution, either directly or indirectly. They include the staff, students, visitors: including parents and guardians of the students, friends and relatives of staff and students, officials of other educational institutions or agencies, contractors working for the institution, etc. The list is almost inexhaustive, but we can limit ourselves to those that are most concerned when security becomes an issue. These are the students (full-time and part-time), staff (academic and non-teaching) and visitors. Security of lives and property of these stakeholders is of paramount importance to the administration as absence of it spells doom for the continued existence of the establishment, talkless of the progress of such an institution.
Features of the Nigerian Universities Security Outfit:
The Security Department of any Nigerian university is usually staffed with trained, certified and mainly discharged officers from some of the military and paramilitary governmental agencies and institutions charged with the authority to maintain order, preserve peace, investigate crimes and make arrests as held by other state security officers. The department enforces federal, state and local laws as well as University regulations and operates 24 hours to provide protection and service to the university community. The department is committed to the prevention of crime and the protection of life and property; the preservation of peace, order, and safety; the enforcement of all laws and ordinances; and the safeguarding of the community members' constitutional guarantees.
The Department works closely with the other state and federal law enforcement agencies to achieve the larger goal of maintenance of peace and security of lives and property in the nation. The department is guided in its activities by the spirit of mutual respect, fairness, and courteous treatment of persons in the campus community. In some of the institutions, the security department is fully part of the establishment with all the staff on the pay-roll of the university. While in others, particularly in some private universities, they are staff of the security agency that undertakes the contract tomaintain peace and security on campus. Usually they are equiped with some firearms and they appear in uniform peculiar to their organisation or the university for ease of identification. Staff and student members are accountable to the community and are expected to conform to community standards and expectations. It is important that security personnel are flexible, independent thinkers and are tolerant of various public attitudes and different types of behaviors. In essence, every reasonable effort should be made to resolve conflicting interpersonal situations by discussion and reason.
rPeculiarity of University Community::pon request, this publicationis available aomat. FormProviding security to staff, students and visitors in a university is uniquely different from doing so for any other establishment. The fact is that University community parades the largest group of highly enlightened individuals with varied knowledge and backgrounds. They largely know what their rights and responsibilities are and they expect highlevel of understanding from those they work with. Very often there are face-off between staff and security personnel on one hand and between students and security personnel on the other.
The security officers of the university should strive to better service the University Community. The goal should be to build a solid relationship with students, faculty, staff, and administrators as they provide programs and training on safety awareness encompassing the campus and surrounding community. They should have a vision of a safe and secure university environment, with hands-on community security which delivers the highest level of professional security service to all University employees, students, and visitors. They should have a mission of working diligently, effectively and cooperatively with other federal, state or local law enforcement agencies and give the utmost respect to the campus community, keeping its safety and well being at the forefront of their efforts at all times.
Campus security and safety are important issues at universities today. Providing students nationwide with a safe environment in which to learn, and keeping students, parents and employees well informed about campus security are goals that have been voiced by many groups. (Hart and Weltz, 2007).
Theft, loss of property and other forms of crime on campus are major concerns today. Universities invest millions of naira in security technology with the intention of increasing security, protecting students and staff, and resolving security issues. This technology includes burglar alarms, fire protection systems, video surveillance, access control systems, and intrusion detection devices. Technology, in the hands of competent and capable security officers, can reduce crime, cut material losses, and keep people safe. But keeping security staff trained on separate, stand-alone systems can be challenging, and must be addressed as part of broader campus security objectives. (tac, 2006).
The key systems of security are intrusion detection, access control, and video surveillance. If each of these systems is purchased separately, administration and training can burden a university's resources. The safety of students, staff and visitors on college and university campuses is the responsibility of security officers who must pay close attention to the places where people spend most of their time, such as halls of residence, classrooms, lecture halls, libraries and offices. But campuses consist of more than these buildings. A school might be home to sensitive research projects that require restricted access and closer scrutiny. A campus also might have other facilities that warrant special vigilance: laboratories with valuable data, libraries with rare volumes, museums with valuable and historically significant artifacts, and walls and corridors dotted with athletic trophies, paintings or sculptures. Furthermore, college and university campuses are home to thousands of students hours a day. As residential and work communities alike, campuses are dynamic environments with constant activity. As a result, an effective campus security program must address the protection of students, faculty, staff, and the safeguarding of campus property and facilities from damage or loss.(tac, 2006).
1 Burglaries, sale and use of hard drugs, murder, aggravated assaults; sexual assaults, arsons, illegal possession of fire arms are the major forms of crime on the Nigerian university campuses. The dimension and magnitude of the occurrence of these crimes may be difficult to know as many of them are not reported particularly as the activities of cult groups and area boys are preponderant. Security of lives and property therefore remains a critical concern for university administrators. Hence a large amount of budget is being spent on a variety of technology and equipment to increase campus safety and protect property.
Electronic Security System:
Electronic security system is gradually gaining momentum in its use and application inthe Nigerian universities. It has to do with the application of technology to effectively reduce crime and protect people and property on campus. Regardless of the size of the campus, its location or the level of security risks that need to be addressed, its essential components of intrusion detection, access control, and video surveillance are highly effective, though expensive, in use in the hands of competent and capable security staff.om Line
Strategy to Maintenance of Peace and Security on Campus:
It is important that institutions and department in-charge of security on campus designs guidelines as to the process of reporting criminal activity or other emergencies on the campus, process of investigating reported cases of infringements/violations, access to the use of university facilities by stakeholders, intitution of safety and security procedures with the full support of the students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the university community, maintains a cooperative relationship with all other Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies.
Creation of Awareness by the Security Department:
The University Campus Security Department speaks to all incoming students at orientation for the new intakes, making them aware of how to contact Campus Security and of the importance of reporting criminal activity. Additionally, Campus Security personnel also give verbal crime prevention tips to students on an informal basis, encouraging them to approach Security with information about crime on campus.
It is also (as specified in details by the Chicago State University) the responsibility of the security department to enlighten stakeholders on personal security, office and vehicle security tips, security in halls of residence, telephone tips, safety while driving, protection against assault, car security, good security habits and how to contact security on campus.
Security on Campus:
The overall safety of the institution requires the active cooperation, assistance and support of the entire campus community. Safety and the avoidance of crime are community issues and/or not limited to the Security Department. The department serves to maintain a safe campus environment and assumes responsibility for matters involving major incidents and/or injuries. The general prevention, detection and enforcement of procedures to identify hazards, assess degrees of vulnerability, mitigate risks and define emergency responses are the responsibilities of the Department of CampusSecurity. It is the function of the department to minimize opportunities and conditions which nurture or result in crime or safety hazards by the development and implementation of proactive prevention and inspection programs and intercepting foot and motorized patrol. The function of the campus community is to consider their behaviors and discourage inappropriate activity.
Access and Security of Facilities:
University facilities exist to support the institution's principal functions of teaching, research and service. In addition to classrooms, laboratories and offices, the University has housing, food service, recreation and athletics, administrative support, maintenance and utility facilities. As a public institution, the University generally seeks to maintain open access to its facilities, but it maintains and regularly exercises the right to restrict access to facilities. For example, access to service, maintenance, utility and office facilities are restricted for safety and operational reasons, and access to student housing facilities is limited to residents and invited guests. In instances where a person, through his/her prior action, has demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to conduct him or herself in accord with University policy or applicable law, that person can be denied access to all University facilities.
As part of their patrol responsibilities, Campus Safety officers report repairs needed for exterior lighting. Students and staff are also asked to report exterior lighting deficiencies or other needed repairs. To improve nighttime visibility, trees, shrubs, and other vegetation on campus are trimmed. Surveys of campus facilities, including lighting, are to be conducted periodically.
Enlightenment Programmes on Security on Campus:
Student Programs. All new students attend summer orientation, which includes a seminar by Campus Safety Officers on campus crime, policies, and crime prevention. Freshman/transfer student seminars are visited by Campus Safety officers who speak on sexual assault, alcohol and crime prevention.
Employee Programs. Like new students, new faculty and staff that attend an orientation session will receive information on crime on campus, policies and crime prevention by Campus Safety Officers. These officers also speak with faculty and staff groups and office areas annually on safety, security and crisis planning. Brochures and other materials relating to crime prevention and crime awareness are distributed at these presentations and at information centers throughout campus. Attend seminars, which will better inform you of your options. Ask questions.
College and university campuses, like any busy neighborhood, are not exempted from crime. BUT, students, faculty and staff can make this special community a safe place to live, learn and work by taking common-sense precautions, being alert, and looking out for others.
Students have high expectations when they select a college or university. They require a quality education and campus experience at a reasonable cost. State-of-the-art facilities, safety and security are of primary concern. In order to meet rising expectations within this cost-sensitive market, colleges and universities must invest wisely in their facilities as a strategic asset to recruit students and attract faculty and staff. Fortunately, new building management solutions are able to increase campus security while also maximizing energy efficiency and performance. This leads to a reduction in operating costs and enables resources saved to be reallocated within the budget to new programs for students. Technology must work effectively as a tool for well-trained security staff.
- Chicago State University Police Department (2005) Campus Security Report, Chicago State University.
- Hart, J. D. And Weitz, S. (2007) Gonzaga University Campus Safety and Security Guide and Other Important Policy Information 2006 - 2007. Gonzanga University.
- Smah, S. D. (2001) Perveption and Control of Secret Cult and Gang induced difficulties for quality living and learning in Nigerian Universities: The Case of the Middlebelt Zone.Monograph, Centre for Development Studies, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria.
- Tac (2007) Creating Safe Campus with integrated Security Solutions