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Full text of "The Gateway (2007-10-04)"

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he police. You see them every day, driving, walking, or 
even biking around town. You see them on TV, and quite 
likely, you know one or two personally. They represented 
everything you wanted to be as a kid and everything you 
hated as an underage teenager with a bottle of booze in your 
hand. However, despite the consistent presence of the police 
in our lives, beyond our experiences widi the occasional 
traffic ticket or free ride downtown, very few of us actually 
know anything about them or the job they do. 


When given thebpportunity ro tag along with Campus Security Services 
(CSS) for an evening, it was the unknown aspect of their job that made me 
• .. say yes. Although initially nervous about the idea of spending six hours 
• campus police—feelings only aggravated by the two traffic tickets 

, ^‘J.xt&etved in August alone—Ryan and I marched into Campus Security's 

Uj|?5urprisingly, the offices aren't nearly as intimidating as expected. Wood- 
pSheiled walls and framed pictures make it look more like Archie Bunker's 
aptit-room jlian the Big House. Tliis tameness, in keeping with die general 
9 public^pew of peace officers as little more than "rent-a-cops,” is only rein- 
^foruetf by the two spartan cells deeper in the office. 

I r Although still fitted with heavy- prison doors and only a hard bench for 
V ^unfcure, they house bikes and equipment, not crazed criminals, 
s we now mostly use them for storage," explains Jesse Howey, a U of 
A gfcd in criminology and our officer and guide for the first two hours of 
the rataht. 

pre-conceived notions I may have brought into the experience a~r 
dasheS when Jerry Donahue, the supervisor on duty when we first showed 
up, explains just how big Campus Security's job really is. 

"We have about 30 patrol officers for 36 000 students." Donahue says. 
"Many places in the US would have 200-300 officers for the same numlier 
of people.” 

CSS has a big job, responsible for an area dial spans from Saskatchewan 
Drive to University Avenue. 110—116 Street, and all the University's lands 
_ across die city. This job is only going to get bigger in the future, 

1 ^ with the expansion of the LRT south to the University farm, 
and the University's recent acquisition of the old Bay 
Building (now Enterprise Square) downtown. 

However, few of the officers seem all that con¬ 
cerned about the upcoming expansion. This 
may be due to the extensive training 
and experience most of them have. 
Although unable to charge people 
W under the criminal code—as peace 

officers, they’re limited to traf- 


iVv.,’ t . '■>%' 

training, and carry defensive batons. 

Though this level of training may seem excessive to some, all it lakes to 
understand is a lcx>k at CSS's display of confiscated weapons. Like an inven¬ 
tory from the early levels of Grand Theft Auto, it contains all the weapons 
a violent criminal could desire: knives, crowbars, and of course, baseball 
bats, just to name a few from dieir very wide selection. 

Once thoroughly briefed on the ins and outs of CSS. it was time for me 
to jump into the car with Officer Howey—-and after that little display of 
weapons, we were ready for some COPS-style action. 

Although little happens in this phase of the night—our only stop was 
for one woman going the wrong way down the one-way bus lane cm 114 
Street—two important lessons are learned. One, the flashing red and biue of 
a police car is way more exciting from inside the car. even if it's just for a rou¬ 
tine traffic stop. And two, the back seat of 3 cop car Is not made for comfort. 

Although 1 ride in style in the shotgun seat next to Officer Howey, 
Ryan is forced to endure the less-than-ergonomic comforts of the back. 
Furnished with a molded plastic seat and drains in tlie floor in case of 
blood. urine, or Listerite vomit, your worry if you get arrested shouldn’t 
be the upcoming charges, but whether you'll ever feel your ass again after 
the ride to the station. 

Once in die car, Officer Howey explains what we might ex[iet't lor the night. 

“We're the first response to everything, from giving first aid to helping 
people locked out of their office and responding to fire alarms," he says. 

Much to my disappointment, he notes that most crime was profierty-re- 
lated and usually committed by people not affiliated to the University, mean¬ 
ing that 1 had little chance to see any classmates gening busted. Suddenly, 1 
stan dunking the night will turn out to be more like To Serve and Protect. 

But just then, we drive by the Delta Kappa Epsilon ("Deke”) frat house. 
A pany called "Drink for Charity" was in full swing, and despite common 
knowledge that ffats are lame, I hope that this party is an exception. 

Once again. Officer Howey unknowingly destroys those, dreams. 

“The Dekes are the [biggest] party frat. but we don't usually have to deal 
with the frats at all," he explains. "Besides, they’re off University property, 
so we can't enforce there." 

By 10pm. when the shifts change, there haven't been any disturbances 
on campus, save for the lost mom driving the wrong way on a one-way. 
However, at parade, the nightly briefing for the incoming night shift. Ryan 
and I are given reason to get excited again. 

After meeting the officers who make up E Section—one of five shifts of 
CSS—and being int rod need to Sgt Marcel Roth, our escort for the rest of the 
night, the events of the previous week are reviewed and some interesting 
numbers brought up: 

2 B&Es dial had been committed since the previous weekend. 

1 former SU President that was banned from campus. 

2 robberies committed—one just off Whyte 3tid the other on campus 
and involving a student whose cellphone was stolen and arm broken.