Helping keep Dal students safe during back‑to‑school season

- August 30, 2019

Adam Davis, residence security officer, helping greet students at Risley Hall. (Danny Abriel photo)
Adam Davis, residence security officer, helping greet students at Risley Hall. (Danny Abriel photo)

For Adam Davis, back-to-school season is easily the most exciting time of the year on campus.

“There’s so much good energy going around. Everyone is excited to be here and begin the next chapter of their life.”

Davis gets an up-close look at O-Week and the rest of the early September rush as Dal’s first residence security officer. In that role, he’s embedded with Dal’s Residence Life team as a dedicated resource for the 2,000-plus students who call campus their home during the academic year.

“I work with the residence life managers and residence assistants, student and front-desk staff, to provide that extra support in ensuring safe community experience for residence,” he explains.

Here for students

As students move into residence beginning this week, they can expect to see a lot of Davis and other members of the Dal Security team. But they may be surprised to find they don’t fit the stereotype they may have of what they think campus security are like. (They’re not “campus police,” for one.)

Davis wants to make sure students know that Dal Security is here for them — and that they do a lot more than just unlock doors and write the occasional parking ticket.

“We’re here for the students 24/7,” says Davis. “That’s why we try to be present, highly visible during these first weeks on campus, and meet with and talk to as many students as possible. We want them to know that we’re here to ensure they feel safe and that they feel welcome at Dalhousie.”

He says that if there is any situation on campus in which students are at all worried about their safety or the safety of their peers to reach out immediately.

“We’re not here to get you in trouble,” he emphasizes. “Trust your gut: if you’re in any situation where you feel unsafe, give us a call and we’ll come to you, wherever you are on campus, and do what we can to help.”

It’ll be easier than ever to find Dal Security on campus in Halifax this fall, as the team is preparing to move from the parkade underneath the Marion McCain Building to a bright, inviting new space on LeMarchant Street, in the house next to the LeMarchant Place building. The move is expected to be completed in October.

Here’s some more key things to know about safety and security on-campus:


For easy access to everything Dal Security offers right at your fingertips, download the DalSAFE app, available for both iOS and Android.

The app includes alerts for urgent situations on campus, maps and parking information, a mobile BlueLight that sends Dal Security right to your location and the ability to text chat live with Dal Security dispatch, and more.

“It’s great not only to access Dal Security as a resource on campus, but other resources as well,” says Davis, noting information on the app from Student Health & Wellness, Human Rights & Equity Services and others.

Contacting Dal Security

In addition to the DalSAFE app, you can reach Dal Security by phone as well. In a serious security issue or worrying situation on campus, you can reach the campus emergency line at 902-494-4109 in Halifax or 902-893-4190 in Truro.

In less urgent situations, you can reach Dal Security by phone at 902- 494-6400 in Halifax and 902-893-4190 in Truro, or by email at You can also find Dal Security in person in Halifax in the parkade below the Marion McCain Building in Halifax and, later this fall, in their new home in the house next to LeMarchant Place. You can also visit the Community Outreach Office in the Life Sciences Centre room 204 (lower floor, down the hall from the Wallace McCain Learning Commons).

Substance-free residences

For the third year in a row, Dal residences Howe Hall, Shirreff Hall, Risley Hall, Gerard Hall, and Mini-Residence houses will be substance-free for the duration of Orientation Week — beginning on Saturday, August 31 and continuing until Monday, September 9, 2019. Students and their guests are not permitted to consume or be in possession of alcohol or cannabis within those residence buildings during that time.

Orientation plays an important role in students' transition to university, and having substance-free residences during that time helps provide an environment that best allows them to learn and adjust to their new surroundings.

And if you or anyone you know encounters any safety issues or a medical situation when it comes to substance use or misuse, don’t hesitate to call Dal Security: they are available as first-responders to help however they can.

Dedicated police patrol

The university is once again partnering with Halifax Regional Police to ensure additional support for students and community members in the neighbourhoods surrounding campus.

The Dalhousie Designated Police Patrol builds on HRP’s own Operation Fall Back in providing a dedicated police support through university neighbourhoods.

“Halifax Regional Police is proud to continue our partnership with Dalhousie University,” says Constable Mike Zinck, community liaison officer with Halifax Regional Police. “Working together with students, university officials and community groups, Operation Fall-Back focuses on education, student safety and neighbourhood quality-of-life. We look forward to another year of promoting safety on-campus and in our community.”

Through Dalhousie Designated Police Patrol, the university provides additional financial support to run enhanced patrol at peak times on selected dates throughout the year. If you need to reach the patrol, call 902-490-5020 to dispatch.


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