Securing a Campus, Part One
May 19th, 2011
Omaha, NE – Campus Security is something people rarely think about, until tragedy strikes. In the first of a three-part series, KVNO News’ Dan Jensen investigates security at the University of Nebraska-Omaha to find out just how safe Omaha’s largest university campus really is.
Many functions fall under the umbrella of campus security, from customer service to alcohol incidents.
Bill Conley, the Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance at UNO had some customer service statistics: 400 cars jump started and 275 unlocked.
As far as alcohol-related incidents, Bob Hoffman, Campus Security Sergeant at UNO, said, “I might have one or two alcohol-related issues in the dorms over the semester, or a drug issue, a couple. And then the night shift will have one every night, or they’ll have four or five in a night. They’ve had nights when they’ve done nothing but all night long chase after those kinds of calls.”
The night shift of campus security is currently supplemented with off-duty Omaha police officers to help with the large amount of alcohol- and drug-related incidents. Alcohol is a pretty typical problem for college students. But what about when it’s something more serious, like a criminal background? Is there any sort of background check on students before allowing them to enroll in the University?
Dr. Thomas Wallace is the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at UNO. He said if a student transfers to UNO from UNL or UNK, admissions is able to spot a judicial or disciplinary hold on their name. “So if it’s one that involves discipline, and we see that there’s a hold, then what we would do is check with the other University to see why there would be a judicial hold on that student.”
However, those holds only apply to students transferring within the University of Nebraska system. Other students transferring may or may not show a judicial hold. Any students enrolling as freshmen in the University will not show a hold at all.
With 15,000 student enrolled at UNO, campus security is a necessity in keeping people safe. But, as Campus Security Sgt. Bob Hoffman said, “We have lights, but we don’t have a siren, and we’re not armed, and we’re not law enforcement.”