As Dalhousie welcomes students to campus for the fall academic term, the university is once again teaming up with local police to ensure a safe and respectful environment on campus and in surrounding neighbourhoods.
What’s different about the partnership this year, though, is an additional increase in police presence in designated areas surrounding Dal campus in September — a month earlier than usual.
The enhanced Dalhousie Designated Police Patrol — a Halifax Regional Police patrol funded by Dalhousie that focuses on neighbourhoods around the university — kicked off this past Saturday and will run the first full week of the term and on Friday and Saturday evenings for the remainder of the month. The service then continues Thursday through Saturday in October, Fridays and Saturdays in November, and on select dates in the winter term.
“We remain committed to working closely with local police to ensure we are a good neighbour to those who live near our campuses,” says Jake MacIsaac, assistant director with Dal’s Security Services.
The additional Dal-focused police presence in September supplements Halifax Regional Police’s own Operation Fall Back, an annual patrol that targets neighbourhoods near the city’s south-end universities. Fall Back also launched last Saturday and runs the first full week of September and Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings for the remainder of the month.
Officers on patrol focus on problem areas, responding to complaints from neighbours and students alike about liquor offences, noise, mischief and other public-safety issues that impact quality of life for local residents.
“We believe this year’s additional patrols, together with Operation Fall Back, will help ensure an even safer and more respectful atmosphere for those living in areas near students,” says Constable Robin Sherwood, community liaison officer for Halifax's south end.
Security on campus, any time
Safety and security remains a priority on campus as well, says MacIsaac.
The university’s Security Services team patrols all three Halifax campuses and the Agricultural Campus in Truro, responding to calls and investigating suspicious behaviour as needed any time of day.
Individuals facing serious security issue or witnessing a worrying situation on campus can contact Security Services directly by calling the campus emergencies line (902-494-4109 in Halifax, 902-893-4190 in Truro) with their own device or by activating one of the many BlueLight security stations located around Dal’s campuses. When activated, a station automatically lights up, dials Security Services on a loud speakerphone, and beams its location to the security team.
Less urgent concerns should be relayed using the general phone line (902-494-6400 in Halifax, 902-893-4190 in Truro), by email (email@example.com) or in person. Individuals are also encouraged to visit the Community Outreach Office located in the high-traffic corridor on the lower floor of the Life Sciences Centre on Dal’s Studley Campus (room 204) if they are seeking confidential supports, resources and services from Dal and community partners such as HRP.
Safety through prevention
Another way to reach Dal Security is through the DalSafe app — but the app does a whole lot more than that.
MacIsaac recommends DalSafe as a mobile safety and security resource packed with useful information and features. It includes a safety toolbox, a campus map, Mobile BlueLight (a mobile version of the service with optional location sharing), and easy access to various emergency and non-emergency contacts. And new this year is a chat feature for those times when it is easier to text with an operator than to make a phone call.
DalSafe also includes easy access to Tiger Patrol, the free evening-ride service offered to students, faculty and staff during the academic year. A valid Dal ID card is required.
MacIsaac also recommends all students, faculty and staff sign up for Dal Alert, the university’s integrated messaging service used to broadcast important information in the event of campus hazards such as chemical spills, fires, or accidents or closures and cancellations due to weather or other conditions.
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