Campus Safety using manpower to assist staffing levels

By Brittany Rosso

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Photo by Hugh Brown

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y.- Since last year, Niagara University’s Campus Safety department has experienced a turnover; a problem many campuses encounter each year. Although the number of Campus Safety officers fluctuates over time, Niagara University uses its manpower to assure that they provide the level of safety and security necessary for the campus community and its students each and every semester.

When it comes to staffing a campus with an adequate number of officers on duty, many outside factors are considered. Some of these factors include community events, campus activities, the days of the week and student enrollment numbers are also monitored.

All staff scheduling is demand-based and workload driven depending on these factors. Some nights may require more officers to be staffed than others; however, the number of officers on duty is never less than two.

In addition to 24/7 campus safety patrol, there is also one security guard in each residence hall every night until the next morning.

John Barker, Director of Campus Safety, stated “the challenge that this turnover has left for Niagara University is meeting our staffing needs with fewer faces. In other words, do more with less.”

This turnover rate has increased mainly due to officers accepting higher positions, personal reasons and out-of-town relocation.

“The unfortunate nature of the beast of any Campus Safety department is turnover. When an officer leaves, it takes a while to get a new one trained and up to speed to be on their own” Barker said.

Barker later stated, “the key to the whole thing is staffing versus manpower. Our amount of work does not change no matter how many staff members we have. Manpower is how many bodies we have to put into that equation to get the needs met, and we will ALWAYS make sure it is met,” adding, “staffing does not change, we always have enough to do the job, it always fluctuates and will always fluctuate.”

Though students may be recognizing fewer and newer faces on campus, Niagara University’s Campus Safety department always uses manpower to ensure all needs are met. This may mean overtime-scheduling, doubling shifts or even last minute shift changes.

“Through my career I have always had a commitment to make sure that the Campus Safety departments I worked with always provided the level of safety and security about the needs of the campuses I’ve worked for, and this department follows this philosophy. So we will always make sure the job gets done and that the campus and the community are safe,” Barker added.

Campus Safety is available at any time by phone at 716-286-8111. All students, staff and faculty are encouraged to keep this number stored in their phone in case of an emergency. Campus Safety can also be reached by email at safety@niagara.edu.

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