Campus Police to add eight new staff

security guard in light brown shirt and ball cap
Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 4:28pm
Blake Eligh

You’ll spot some new faces around the U of T Mississauga campus this fall. UTM’s Campus Police service is adding eight new staff to its roster, including building patrollers, a newly-created role. Three building patrollers—Ronald Delamotte, Andrew Szkolka and Patrick Libunao—were hired over the summer. Three more patrollers and two new special constables will join the team over this academic year. When the hiring process is completed, the Campus Police will include 14 special constables and six building patrollers.

Campus Police handles hundreds of calls every year, dealing with straightforward issues such as opening classrooms to more serious issues like medical emergencies, thefts and other investigations. Previously, UTM’s department was staffed entirely by special constables. Campus Police manager Rob Messacar, who oversaw the addition of building patrollers in his previous role with the UTSC campus, says the new hires will take over light security duties, leaving special constables free to respond to more serious or time-intensive calls.

The new building patrollers, identifiable by their brown uniform shirts, will be responsible for access to facilities and patrolling campus. They’ll handle locking and unlocking classrooms and buildings, and conduct safety patrols of areas where students congregate, including after-hours study spaces. The patrollers will also educate students about keeping their belongings safe. “One major issue that we deal with is theft of students’ electronic property,” Messacar says. “Often, students are studying and get up to grab a coffee, leaving their stuff unattended and vulnerable to theft.”

Shifting these duties to the new patrollers will free up the special constables to look after other issues. “Special constables have the full powers of police officers in relation to their duties,” Messacar says. “They will be doing patrols with enforcement in mind, looking after everything from smoking by-laws to criminal offences.”

“Statistically, this is a very safe campus, but increasing officer presence enhances that feeling of safety,” he says, adding that bolstering the campus police roster is just one part of UTM’s community policing strategy.

“I want to make this department part of the culture of the UTM campus,” he says. “The more our officers are seen by and interact with students and staff, the more the community will feel safe and comfortable in approaching them. This puts a friendly face on our department.”

Read more about Rob Messacar's commitment to community policing in “New Cop on Campus” >