Published: 05 Jul 2017 Source: University Relations Office (URO)
Reverend Professor Charles Ansah, the Pro Vice-Chancellor, has called on security experts to reconsider the mode and criteria of recruitment into the security services of the universities to include a thorough scrutiny of the background of recruits in view of current security challenges confronting the educational sector. Rev. Prof. Ansah made this call at the opening of the conference of heads of security services of the public universities in Ghana. The event themed “Emerging Trends in Security Services” was organised by the Human Resource Division of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The workshop brought together security staff and heads from public universities, provosts, college registrars and legal practitioners. The Pro Vice-Chancellor noted that with global and local security threats, applicants to the university security service should be properly screened in order to ensure safety of the university system. He observed, “Universities have challenges with security and I hope this event would afford security personnel the opportunity to deliberate on issues to find innovative ways to reduce or combat such issues.”
Citing KNUST as an example, Rev. Prof. Ansah explained the university had witnessed rapid population increase with current student population of fifty thousand. There was, therefore, a big responsibility for university security staff to ensure the safety of staff, students, clients and assets.
Mr. Jacob Kudjo Semahar, deputy head of security, KNUST, in his presentation on “Current Security Services and Management-The Case Study of KNUST” noted that the KNUST Security Service handles traditional and emerging threats to security in executing its mandate of ensuring safety and security of human and non-human assets.
Mr. Semahar said the role of his outfit has been to develop and strengthen strategies and systems that ensure protection of stakeholders. He noted some of the traditional security threats often recorded by his outfit as theft, robbery, illicit drug use, rape, fire outbreaks and emerging security challenges such as suicide, cyber and sophisticated fraud, assault, kidnapping and homos3xuality. According to him, university management and the security service have made interventions such as the installation of CCTV cameras, security walls, access control and improved lighting systems on campus.
Mr. Semahar noted that current security challenges affect all aspects of endeavour and are no longer limited to protection of life and property. He called for collaborative efforts to safeguard security and the image of public universities.
DCOP Ken Yeboah, Ashanti Regional Police Commander, in his presentation on “The Relationship between the University Security Service and the Police” stated that though the University was a city within a city, it formed part of the jurisdiction of the regional police command. He therefore urged both institutions to collaborate, coordinate, share ideas and cooperate with each other.
DCOP Yeboah cautioned university management and the security service to conduct extensive background checks on foreign students bearing in mind terrorism, cyber fraud and emerging security threats. He also advised university security to professionally train its staff, devise appropriate strategies and to plan for emergencies to ensure their safety and that of the university.
The Regional Police Commander also called for effective communication between the police and the university in order to plan ahead of student celebrations and to call for reinforcements in riots situations. He further challenged the university security service and authorities to ensure that off-campus accommodation for students and staff have adequate security.