Chief Dooley to lead a new task force

Haljit BasuljevicReporter

While not many details have been revealed, the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system is creating a task force to implement more crime prevention policies and procedures upon student campuses.

Still in its infancy, University Chief of Police Joseph Dooley, who will be appointed as head of this task force, stated the Southern police department’s aim is to integrate campus community remains intact with this new task force.

“Our colleges and universities should be safe and welcoming learning environments, and hearing from people with wide variety of perspectives will help better meet that goal,” said CSCU Director of Communications Leigh Appleby, who also stated the plan will include the voices of students, faculty, administrators, and campus safety officers with the goal of adopting the best practices on a system-wide basis.

In the meantime, Dooley is focused on moving past outdated technology.

The Blue Emergency lights dispersed throughout campus have been subject to failure due to water leaking inside the underground wires and are costly to fix, said Dooley.

The LiveSafe app, which was implemented in 2018, has been an effective and relevant substitute.

The app allows students to anonymously tip-off police officers, report an incident and contains detailed instructions in case of emergencies.

Dooley said although the app has been working well, there have not been many students who are even aware of it.

He hopes to alleviate this problem by word of mouth across campus and media coverage.

However, despite these new safety precautions, the technology cannot completely cover what Dooley likes to call the “human element.”

For example, scams disguised as job offers have been sent to students’ email inboxes and in return sensitive information could be turned over.

It is then difficult to determine the culprit because of the sender’s encrypted email address.

“Technology is driving what we do,” said Dooley. But, “[We] can’t rely solely on technology. [You] need the human element.”

Further development in this area works better by way of the campus police’s use of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.

He stated in a previous interview this is a method to keep crime at bay by preventing criminal activity in the first place.

This includes keeping areas well-lit, keeping car doors locked and allowing community residents to play a role in establishing security.

Dooley said he acknowledged there were certainly setbacks involved in trying to integrate technology.

He said an ideal situation for him would be having a facilitator who can stay in the building and manage all the technology that the police department uses.

Such a position, he said, is vacant at the moment.

“If I had a perfect world, those are two things [the other being Chief Deputy] that would make my life easier,” said Dooley.

What potential precautions may ensue with this new task force is still yet to be seen.

According to Student Government Association Board of Academic Excellence Vice President Brooke Mercaldi, a meeting between the Board of Regents Student Advisory Committee will discuss further details in Hartford, Conn. on March 22.

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