UAA's Auxiliary Emergency Team profiled in VIPS in a College or University Setting report
by Kathleen McCoy |
A publication supported with a grant awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance states the following:
"Volunteerism on college and university campuses is not a new concept; however, high-profile acts of violence over the years have brought attention to the safety and security of students on campus. Campus crime has become more prevalent in the news and the seriousness of this issue has been acknowledged. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is a federal landmark law requiring colleges and universities across the United States to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. Many colleges and universities around the nation have started programs, some of them volunteer driven, to enhance safety and security on their campuses. Volunteers allow campus law enforcement agencies and officers to focus on policing and enforcement functions by providing supplemental and support services...
"Established in 2007, the University of Alaska's police volunteer unit, the Auxiliary Emergency Team (AET), is unusual in that campus employees volunteer to assist the campus police department, a non-required duty of their employment. The program's coordinator first came up with the idea for the team after a hazardous gas leak in a campus building. There were only three officers on duty that day but there were five entrances to the building. The program's coordinator knew there were campus employees who would be willing to assist in an emergency, each of whom has skills that could be tapped to benefit law enforcement responders.
"Interest for the volunteer team was generated though campus fliers. There are 14 campus employees volunteering for this duty. Their duties range from office and building management to maintenance and engineering. Two co-leads act as volunteer supervisors and liaisons to the campus police department. There is no formal application process for volunteers though they are subject to a background investigation, which includes court and credit history check and a driver's license check. Once a volunteer passes the background investigation, he or she must sign an agreement covering their expectation of duty and confidentiality. Volunteers attend monthly meeting and training events covering such topics as traffic direction, crowd control, building evacuation, CPR, first aid, emergency radio procedures and more.
"Volunteers are issued a laminated AET identification card, a basic uniform and a CERT-type response bag. There is no designated workplace for volunteers. Meetings and trainings are held in unoccupied classrooms and follow-up or after-action meetings are conducted at the police department. There is little cost associated with the program and any monies provided thus far have been provided by the university's risk management office and police department. Workers' compensation and liability are covered as if this were a part of their regular job. Volunteers have a variety of reasons for becoming part of the AET. Some want to have a basic framework of understanding for campus emergencies, others want to help in the event of an emergency and others want to provide worthy service to the university."
For more information about UAA's police department visit www.uaa.alaska.edu/upd/.