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IITS to build cages around equipment

by Archives February 13, 2002

Thieves are working their way through the downtown campus. Numerous thefts are being reported in both the Hall Building and in the Webster Library.
Jean Brisebois, the director of Concordia Security, is concerned about the situation and intends to do something about it. “We have to maintain a safe, secure environment for both the students and the staff of this university.”
He says that at least two different gangs have been active on the downtown campus over the past few weeks. Three thieves were recently caught by campus security and charges have been filed against them. Another thief is being sought after he was filmed walking off with a classroom projector.
Other visual identifications have been made by campus security. Staff has been asked to remain on high alert.
“We have to maintain a serious presence on campus,” said Brisebois. “Students have to be reminded to be careful.”
He mentioned how one woman had her purse stolen in the Webster library. She left it on a desk as she left to go write an exam. “Sometimes people have to use their common sense. Keep an eye on your things.”
Brisebois does not believe that the thieving is an inside job.
“Similar thefts have happened at both McGill and UQAM.,” he said. “We are working with other security forces to pool our resources.”
Andrew MacAusland, the executive director of Concordia’s Information and Technical Services, is sad, fantastically sad.
Six digital projectors have been stolen out of engineering classrooms at a cost of $5,500 to $9,500 for each unit. MacAusland is having new projectors installed with security cameras, motion detectors and alarms wired directly to the security desk.
“I’m going to build cages around each and every unit, but the classrooms are going to look like a dump.”
MacAusland is against cameras because he believes they are an intrusion into people’s privacy.
“But what are you going to do?” He asked. “This is a university, and you can’t lock the students out of the university’s facilities. Call me Jack!”
The difficulty for proper security is that the university must remain accessible to its students. A proper balance must be established between a free and open university and a secure university environment for the students, the staff and the university’s property. Brisebois said it will be difficult to identify thieves in such an open and accessible atmosphere.
“We can’t close the buildings. We may have to begin carding students,”added Brisebois.
“We are here for the students, the staff, and the university,” said Brisebois.
“There is no question of any kind of emphasis on any one group within the university’s community.”
Recent events have forced the university’s administration to re-consider its entire security operation. An intensive study has been carried out and a number of measures are being planned to improve security on campus.
“Cost is a big factor,” says Brisebois. Video surveillance is an option as are alarms and a ‘smart card’ system. Brisebois said a number of choices will have to be made, and they must be made soon.
MacAusland is using a hot iron to carve “Stolen from Concordia University” in big ugly letters on each and every unit.”It’s a shame to have to resort to such measures.”

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