Campus security

Security at King’s isn’t what it used to be

Patrol members regularly check in on residences.
Patrol members regularly check in on residences.   Alexander Quon

For Kyril Wolfe, the hardest nights on the job are when students confide in him.

But it’s one of his duties as a member of Patrol at the University of King’s College, where he sometimes does 20 hours of rounds a week.

For previous members of Patrol that wasn’t always the case. They used to act as private security for King’s.

That changed when Alex Doyle took the post as director of facilities three years ago.

In a short amount of time the security system of the small college in Halifax has been restructured. Every step of the way Doyle has been the man behind the scenes. His job as director of facilities puts him in charge of many things — security being one of them.

Doyle was assigned the task of assessing security on campus and fixing any flaw that he found.

“Every time a [security] incident happens we do a follow up,” he said. “We see if there are any areas that we can strengthen.”

For the moment, security operates on a two-tier system. The two parts often interact but fulfill different tasks.

Patrol, identified by their red shirts, is a team of students who enforce rules within the residences, interact with students and assist Dons when they need their help.

Then there is Source Security, the company that currently provides professional security to the school.  Their role is to secure buildings and the campus grounds.

“We’ve had a number of incidents that security was able to step in and address before the incident got out of hand,” Doyle said. “They’re working well with Patrol.”

When Doyle began his work he found that Patrol, too, was operating like private security.

Having students interact with possibly dangerous situations was a concern for Doyle.

“We decided to break that [relationship] apart and create professional security for the campus and still maintain Patrol,” he said.

Kyril Wolfe is in his first year as a member of Patrol.
Kyril Wolfe is in his first year as a member of Patrol.   Alexander Quon

That way, Patrol could still be closely connected to students.

Wolfe says the relationship works well, from what he’s seen so far.

“We are always working together, we do different things, we even come at it from different angles sometimes, but we are getting the job done together,” he said.

Doyle said school security is rarely a process where everyone wins. It takes compromise to make it work. Doyle said that when problems appear he tries to find a solution everyone will be happy with.

“We try to talk to students, try to get their buy-in. We try to make them understand why we are doing something,” Doyle said.

More security changes are on the way for King’s. Doyle is working with experts to develop emergency procedures in case the school needs to go into lockdown.

He plans to hold sessions throughout November to educate the school’s community on any upcoming plans.

Other than his security duties as Patrol, Wolfe finds that the biggest reward is helping his fellow students.

“Knowing that [students] are OK and knowing that I can help them get to some place that is better if there is a problem, that’s what is important,” he said.