With 24 officers on the force, Director of Public Safety Kimberly Beaty, and her officers patrol Canisius College and the Hamlin Park district, while working closely alongside the City of Buffalo Police to keep the neighborhood safe as concerns grow about the coronavirus.
“Public Safety will still be here because we’re going to continue to safeguard the campus and the surrounding community. We will continue to be here to make sure that the property is secure,” Beaty said during the time Canisius students will be gone during spring break and when classes resume online due to the coronavirus.
Recently, Canisius announced they will be moving classes online from March 23 until April 13 as the coronavirus spreads throughout the United States. Residence Halls will be closed starting March 19 at 5 p.m. and will be closed until at least April 13.There is a possibility they will be closed until the end of the spring semester. Beaty said Public Safety will still be present and will continue to make sure the campus is safe.
“Our mission statement is to protect the educational environment of the campus, that’s what it means, and in that, we include everyone that’s here: people that live here, work here, and are a part of our community,” Beaty said.
Beaty refers to the area around Canisius that they patrol as a “footprint,” which means any area that has a direct impact on Canisius. Public Safety patrols Main Street, Delavan Avenue, parts of Humboldt Parkway and some areas further down Main Street where Canisius owns other properties.
“I think we’re doing okay. I would say that Hamlin Park is one of the safer neighborhoods in the City of Buffalo. We don’t have problems that exist in other neighborhoods, so I think we’re doing good,” Beaty said.
With Buffalo Police and Canisius’ Public Safety team patrolling the area, the crime rates in the area are better than most, but she still advises students to be aware of their surroundings and if you “see something, say something.”
After working for the Buffalo Police for 32 years, Beaty has been able to develop a relationship with the Buffalo Police and the surrounding area of Canisius. She keeps in contact with the Buffalo Police and shares resources with each other.
When dealing with threats that have an impact on the community, Beaty said her team is prepared. All of her officers are trained in active shooter training, which occurs during the summer around campus.
“We want our civilians that are a part of our community to be aware of what’s happening around you,” Beaty said. “You just can’t walk into someplace blind, you have to be aware of people that might be acting or looking suspicious.”
In addition to active shooter training, Public Safety provides Threat Assessment Training to different departments on campus to ensure everyone knows what to do in situations where safety may be compromised by a threat. In the past, training has been completed by departments such as the counseling staff and the professors on campus.
Beaty said Public Safety provides multiple trainings that prepare the Canisius community for life. They can teach crime prevention, personal safety and proper ways to interact with the police when pulled over, which all comes down to mutual respect for each other.
“I think it’s wonderful that students come to officers for advice, a lot of time they call to see if they can speak to me personally, and I want them to know that I do have that open-door policy,” Beaty said.
Public Safety is currently working on having more engagement with the student body through tactics such as open conversations with students. She wants to ensure that students feel safe and are always looking for new ways to make the campus safer.