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  • Jon Dusza, News Editor

Escort Policy Update

By: Jon Dusza, Managing Editor


This year, students at Canisius have reported that Canisius Public Safety has denied their requests for a ride between buildings on campus at night. In order to find out more about this, The Griffin sat down with Chief Kimberly Beaty, the head of Canisius Public Safety.


Throughout the interview, Beaty’s bottom line was that Public Safety does not have the resources to reliably give rides to students and that students should not expect a ride. Instead, Beaty told The Griffin, Public Safety is focusing on other means to keep people safe.

Chief Beaty began by asserting that providing students with a ride on campus was never Public Safety’s policy to begin with. “Since I’ve been here,” she said, “it has never been a policy that we transport people from one residence hall to a building on campus. It’s never been a policy: It has been a courtesy. … Right now, and in the past, we never had the resources to act as a reliable source of transportation for students… We’re emergency responders, and we respond to calls for service and we do other things around campus. And it’s just not good for us to use emergency vehicles to transport students.”


The Griffin asked Chief Beaty if it was policy this year to specifically not give transportation to students, to which she replied, “I’m not going to say that it’s the policy to not do it, but we don’t have the resources or the capacity to do it.”


Public Safety Lieutenant Richard Miller, who was also present at the interview, chimed in, “If we have somebody in the car, and we get a high-stress call, what do we do with that person? … What do I say, get out of the car right here?” he asked. “If I tell them to get out of the car, and something happens to them, we’re at fault.”


Beaty highlighted Public Safety measures that are meant to keep people safe beyond escorts. “Our officers need to be out there,” she said. “They need to be out on patrol, and they need to make sure that they’re in every area of the campus making sure that people are safe walking around. … But in the meantime, we all have to be responsible about our own transportation. We’re not a car service.”


“I don’t want any of our students to think that they’re out there to fend for themselves. We certainly are around and will keep a watchful eye on them and do as much as we can,” Beaty assured. “And if we have an extreme circumstance where someone needs a ride, and there is a difference between a want and a need, we will assist them.” She also mentioned that if a student is walking home on campus, students can inform Public Safety, and Public Safety will keep an eye on them, watching security cameras and alerting officers in the area.


As for the future, Beaty spoke about a future student-held position in the works, in which a student would escort students who need it around campus at night. “We have to make sure that every aspect of [the position] is safe for the student that is being escorted and the student that is actually doing the work. The student that will be doing the escort will be able to contact [Public Safety].” Beaty added that such a service could be implemented by the end of the semester.


“We don’t want people to feel unsafe here,” Chief Beaty added, “but we can’t drive people around 24 hours a day — it’s not our job. Crime prevention, detection and deterrence, that’s our job.”


Beaty empathized that “we will always be here for our students. They are our purpose. We have to work together to maintain university safety.”

Public Safety can be contacted at (716) 888-2330.


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