The State of Ohio will work with the private sector to increase security patrols and security measures in the university area.
At a press conference on September 24, University President Kristina M. Johnson announced The state of Ohio will hire private contractors to increase patrolling around the campus, but these contractors will not act like police officers. University spokesman Dan Hedman said it was important for students to know who to look for in an emergency.
Monica Moll, director of public security, said the students and security guards are campus duty officers under private contract. The Department of Public Security is looking to hire more throughout the month of October.
“We would like to go from about six to 30,” Moll said. “Anyone who is interested in the field of public safety in the field of policing or security, we would like them to join our team. “
Hedman said duty officers are not the same as police officers. Whether they are private security contractors, campus duty officers, or nonprofit Community Crime Patrol volunteers, duty officers take policy training but cannot proceed to making arrests or carrying guns.
Moll said that before taking the oath, entrepreneurs learn procedures, observation skills, how to communicate by radio and how to receive police assistance.
The different types of officers form a larger network and need to work together, Moll said.
“We will never set up a private security company to deal with all off-campus crime on our own,” Moll said. “They work because they integrate with a larger network of police officers, cameras, our 911 dispatchers, and the people who monitor our videos.”
Moll said these security officers work with police officers and are in cars marked as security so students can search for them without confusing them with police officers.
“They are patrolling to be an extra pair of eyes and ears, and they have no law enforcement power,” Moll said. “When they see things they then call the Columbus Police and [University] The police must respond and help.
Security officers are looking for clues of crime, including break-ins, thefts and potential threats, to report to Columbus Police, Moll said.
“They will look for suspicious behavior; people breaking into cars, people trying to break into homes, people who might carry guns, ”Moll said.
These increased patrols with security guards will occur Thursday through Sunday, nights when crime is more likely to occur, Moll said. Campus duty officers are never a substitute for police patrols, but rather patrol in addition to police officers.
“We still have Columbus Police out there 24/7, every day and night, patrolling the college district only on their regular patrols,” Moll said.
For non-emergencies, students can reach the University Police at 614-292-2121, and should always call 911 in an emergency.