Strengthening the Department of Security and Campus Safety: An Update on Summer Progress and Planning
Over the course of the summer, a working group met regularly to further action needed to strengthen the Department of Campus Safety outlined in the June 14, 2017 letter from President Spencer to the Bates community. This group, comprised of students, faculty, staff and personnel from Campus Safety, believes the current plans and collaborative efforts taking place early in the fall semester will make an immediate and tangible difference in the way security officers interact with students and others on our campus. Early in the fall semester, the working group will partner with Student Government to develop a Security Advisory Committee designed to provide ongoing input and feedback to the department and to inform the ongoing efforts and focus of the workgroup.
Below is a summary of the work completed to date and the work that will continue through this academic year and beyond.
All Security personnel will participate in the following training sessions this year:
• Racial Equity & Justice – The Hackman Consulting Group has been engaged in a year-long training and consulting process. This will include six sessions over the course of the year and a process at the end for long-term strategic planning and organizational change. In addition to all Security personnel, staff members in a number of student services offices will also participate in a similar concurrent training and consulting process.
• Procedural Justice & Community Engagement – Michael Rocque (Assistant Professor of Sociology, Bates College) and Chad Posick (Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Georgia Southern University) will be providing a training on procedural justice and community engagement. This training will focus on the principles of procedural justice, which include a focus on respect, legitimacy, and fairness in interactions between security officers and members of the Bates community.
• Active Ally – Lexie Mucci (Assistant Director, Office of Intercultural Education) will offer Active Ally training that will focus on the practical application of the knowledge and skills needed to support LGBTQ+ individuals.
Moving forward, the working group will develop a comprehensive and continuing curriculum of professional development for all Security personnel and will establish standard trainings to be included in the onboarding process for all new staff.
• Community Engagement – Beginning this fall semester, all Security Officers will regularly participate in community engagement opportunities across campus. Examples of these opportunities include: attending Residence Life programs, serving as a liaison to a team or club, eating with students in Commons, talking informally with residents while walking through a residence hall, or attending an athletic competition or an arts or cultural event on campus. Participating in these activities is now considered a core job responsibility for all officers.
• Opportunities for Feedback – A number of options for providing feedback to officers and for connecting after an incident are now available. Officers and supervisors will regularly follow-up with students after a documented incident, providing students with an opportunity to answer questions and provide feedback. Additionally, a web form Security Feedback/Suggestions has been developed to provide feedback that will go to the Director of Security & Campus Safety.
• Vision, Mission, Philosophy, Core Values – Prior to a comprehensive review of all Security policies and procedures, the working group thought it important to ask the following question: What is the role and purpose of Security on a college campus? Through this question, a draft statement of the vision, mission, philosophy, and core values of Security & Campus Safety has been developed. This draft document can be found here and we welcome community feedback.
• Policy Development – Over the course of the academic year, the working group will review and update all Security policies and procedures. Key policies, such as those detailing guidelines around use of force, room searches, and engagement with student social gatherings, are among the priority items to be reviewed. Policy revisions will be informed by best practices in the college security field and through consultations with other institutions. All policies will be posted to the Security website and distributed to students as they are developed or changed.
During the fall semester, the working group will explore the possibility of engaging an organization for a review of our policies or for potential accreditation through the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA).
Director of Security & Campus Safety Search
The search committee has identified candidates for the Director of Security & Campus Safety position after the reposting of the position this summer. Additional students have also joined the search committee.
We welcome your ongoing feedback and input as we continue to work to strengthen our Department of Campus Safety. We will post regular updates from the working group to this page. In the meantime, please contact Paul Menice, Interim Director of Campus Safety with any questions or comments.