Campus Security External Review

University departments and units at UBC are periodically reviewed to ensure that their operations are meeting the needs of the campus community and that the departments and units are strategically planning for the future.  At the request of the Campus Safety and Security Steering Committee and the Direct Report Team on the Okanagan campus, an external review committee was established to review the operations of the Campus Security departments on the UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan campuses.  The review committee was on-site the week of April 4 – 8th 2016.   The committee met with a wide range of individuals and groups in Vancouver April 4, 5, 7 and 8th and in the Okanagan on April 6th.

We would like to thank all of the individuals and campus stakeholders who took the time to meet with the review panel and share their thoughts and ideas to support the continued enhancement of our campus security operations.

We would also like to thank the review panel for their professionalism, insight and thoughtful reflection on the security and safety needs on our campuses today and into the future.  The panel included Fred Fotis, Director of Residence Life, University of Wisconsin, Stan Gilmour, Superintendent, Reading Police, Berkshire, UK and Pat Patton, Director of Security and Operations, University of Regina.

Response to the Findings of the Review Review

UBC values the safety and security of its students, faculty, staff and community members, as well as the physical plant of the institution, and our partnerships with committed stakeholders across campus.

The University engaged the external review panel to identify approaches that would enhance the University’s commitment to safety and security and operationalize best practices.

The review has identified areas where we could focus our efforts, to progress our campus safety and security to a level of excellence with a common vision for the campus.

UBC will phase three linked processes through a strategic approach to addressing the findings of the review:

  • Build shared vision, partnerships, and leadership for a renewed approach to Campus Safety and Security on the UBC Vancouver campus
  • Take action and build momentum towards a community-based security approach at UBC Vancouver
  • Address the full list of recommendations once the shared vision, partnerships and leadership are in place

In addition to providing more information about these next stages, this document will also provide clarifications and updates regarding three specific issues raised in the review.


  1. Build shared vision, partnerships, and leadership for a renewed approach to Campus Safety and Security
  • Building off the work done during the review, engage our campus in the development of a Statement of Campus Safety and Security, that will be supported at the highest levels of the institution
  • Strengthen partnerships and clarify roles and responsibilities across the key security players on campus
  • Strengthen leadership for campus safety and security, through hiring a Head of Profession
    • Engage a search firm to identify a strong leader for campus safety and security, who can make the Statement of Campus Safety and Security a reality in partnership with key stakeholders.
  1. Take action and build momentum towards a community-based security approach

While more work is needed to further engage our partners, clarify vision and roles, and hire a Head or Profession as per above, UBC agrees that the way forward will include a greater focus on community-based security, and a renewal of the risk-assessment based allocation model. To that end, UBC will take immediate action to build momentum in these areas.

  • Introducing principles of a community-based security approach
    • Engage Campus Security staff in developing security zones on campus and clarifying staff roles within the zones
    • Implement a zone based model by September 2016 and continue to review the program with input from experts
    • Meet with stakeholders in each zone through fall 2016 to identify area specific needs
  • Renewing risk assessment and allocations in line with the community-based security approach
    • Develop a risk assessment tool that can be used on campus to review current security approaches
  1. Address fulsome list of recommendations

The Head of Profession will have a clear mandate from the Statement of Campus Safety and Security, and a well-defined role in relation to our campus partners.  The Head of Profession will be charged with developing the model to enact the Statement, with associated budget model to address training, service level and the other needs identified in the review (e.g. program additional services, revise job descriptions, more visible uniforms).

To support this work UBC has engaged the services of Professor Benjamin Goold, Senior Advisor to the Vice-President Students on Campus Safety and is currently in the final stages of confirming the participation of an external review panel member.  They will be facilitating the development of a Statement on Campus Safety and Security as well as an approach to strengthening partnerships and clarifying roles with the key security players on campus.  Furthermore this duo’s expertise will also support the development of a community based security approach and risk assessments.

Clarifications and updates

There are three recommendations in the review report where we would like to provide some clarification and updates.

Recommendation #7 Immediately bag all non-working blue phones on the Vancouver campus. Implement a plan to repair or replace the non-working blue phones quickly and on an on-going basis. Ensure that safety items such as the blue phones receive a high priority in the maintenance hierarchy. Assign one unit the responsibility and resources to manage the blue phones.

Update re: #7 when the review committee was on campus, the installation of 20 new blue phones, and an upgrade to the 20 existing blue phones, was in progress.  All of the existing phones were operational during the review committee’s visit to campus, and subsequent to this, 16 of the new phones have been installed and are working.  (The remaining 4 phones will be installed when construction is complete and they can be put in place). A plan has been developed, when and if a blue phone is not working, the phone will be bagged to indicate that it is not in service.

Recommendation 31: Senior managers in Risk Management Services and Campus Security plan and exercise responses for the full range of major incidents. Involve senior managers from across UBC and the RCMP.

Clarification re: #31 – UBCV does have an Emergency Management Plan (EMP) which was developed by Risk Management Services (RMS) in 2014/15. Its focus is the response to significant emergency incidents for which UBCV’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) would be activated.

The plan contains a number of Annexes:

  • Those defining responsibilities for the various EOC Sections and supporting Task Forces. Campus Security is represented in the EOC Command Section and leads the EOC’s Public Safety Task Force.
  • Those which are emergency incident – specific: Active Shooter/Armed Threat; Interface Wildfire; Airplane Crash; HAZMAT; Earthquake.

All of these Annexes require validation through exercises (facilitated discussions, drills, tabletops, simulations) and this process is ongoing. RMS leads the planning for and conducting of such exercises, which typically involve Campus Security’s participation, as well as that of senior managers across UBCV who have roles in EOC Sections and/or Task Forces. Representatives from RCMP and other First Responders, Metro Vancouver, and the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) are also participants, and in some cases contribute to the design of the exercise.

As Active Shooter/Armed Threat and Earthquake are considered to be UBCV’s most serious potential emergency incidents, exercises in recent years have focused on responses to these incidents, with the former being exercised in June and the latter in October (in conjunction with the provincially-sponsored ShakeOutBC education and awareness campaign). In future, RMS plans to conduct additional exercises focused on HAZMAT and Interface Wildfire incidents.

Effective protocols, procedures and training for lesser emergency incidents (e.g. lab fires, chemical spills) are in place.

Recommendation 32: Draw up plans and processes to identify cumulative levels of critical incidents. All managers must be made aware of their roles and responsibilities in regard to these, specifically the roles of governance and communications.

Clarification re: #32 – To the extent this relates to emergency incidents as described in #31, please see response provided there.  RMS maintains records of emergency management incidents (as described above), as well as a database capturing occupational and research safety-related accidents and incidents (including near misses). Campus Security maintains a database covering incidents of a personal security (e.g. assaults) and property security (e.g. thefts) nature.