Laurier Brantford welcomes 24/7 Special Constables Services
After years of campaigning and advocating, the Wilfrid Laurier University Brantford campus can now extend their Special Constable Services to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week coverage.
After the university’s Board of Governors approved an increase of service hours on June 23, Tyler Van Herzele, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Students’ Union president, released a thank-you note on the Students’ Union Facebook account to those who worked to make this extension possible.
“Although this major success occurred during my term in office, it was those who came before that put the time and effort into this major advocacy push,” read the letter.
Throughout his letter, Van Herzele thanked those who pushed for the extension before he stepped into office in May 2016. Among those, he thanked former Students’ Union presidents Michael Onabolu, Annie Constantinescu, Sam Lambert and Olivia Matthews.
Van Herzele also acknowledged former vice-president of university affairs, Sean Madden, for bringing the issue of safety on the Brantford campus to attention and former vice-president of campus experience Brantford, Holly Kaiser, for installing safety buttons and emergency poles on the campus.
While Van Herzele thanked numerous past student executives, presidents, vice-presidents and university affairs, he also acknowledged the campus partners.
“This has been a many year push, so I think it’s a great step for us now and I’m really happy to say that it is done and we can look forward to seeing how it’s implemented in the upcoming term,” he said.
James Yuhasz, manager of Brantford’s SCS, said it has been a common goal around the Laurier community to make Brantford’s SCS a 24/7 service. For over a decade, the service has worked with Residence Life, the Students’ Union and the Office of the Dean of Students, as well as the Brantford Police Service, to find out how to transition from their current staff to the 24/7 services.
“We’ll have staff on 24/7,” Yuhasz explained. “We’ll transition to having two staff on at all times whereas right now we try to cover with two constables on, but just given our staffing levels of three full and one part-time and all the hours we want to cover, it’s not feasible to be able to do that right now.
“Transiting 24/7 with the two constables on at all times is great for officer safety and presence on campus and quicker response.”
Brantford’s SCS will also be hiring more officers before the service begins their transition to 24 hours. According to Yuhasz, the common goal is to extend their hours by January 2017.
“We’ll be looking at hiring; I think we’ll go up to nine constables, so four sergeants, supervisors and then four constables and then one part-time constable to help onset with vacations, busy times,” said Yuhasz.
According to Van Herzele, the services can open up more opportunities for students on both campuses to take services offered in Waterloo and either re-evaluate them or apply them on the Brantford campus.
“I’m excited to see where this takes us.”
Yuhasz believed the extensions exemplifies the great partnerships Brantford’s SCS has with stakeholders, as well as the Brantford Police Service and the City of Brantford.
“It’s just a great example of everyone working for the same goal and we’re looking at providing the best service that we can to ensure students, staff and faculty have a safe environment for what we’re here for, for learning and growing as students and maturing as we go through the years.”