By Laney Tipton UNC Staff Writer the Durham Voice firstname.lastname@example.org For Lisa Fair, there are few things more important than the safety of the students at North Carolina Central University.
Fair, who has been part of Campus Security at NCCU for almost two and a half years, is stationed at the Information Booth outside the Clyde R. Hoey Administration Building Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. While that might seem a little monotonous to some, Fair says being in that high traffic area every day is one of her favorite parts of her job as a campus security officer.
“I love interacting with the students,” Fair says. “I get to be here knowing that I’m helping someone every day. I interact with everyone, from students and faculty who stop by and tell me what’s happening in their lives, and visitors who need guidance around campus.”
Fair is one key player in the network of campus security that patrols NCCU every day, working to keep campus safe.
Fair says there are between 60 and 65 officers that make up campus security, including sworn police officers and security officers.
At any given time, she says, there are about 10 officers on campus patrolling on foot, and a couple more patrolling the general area in police cars. At night, there are usually six to seven guards stationed at specified buildings and dorms around campus, one patrolling on a Segway and four or five police officers patrolling in their cars, so help is always accessible and available for quick response.
“Our campus security serves us well,” says Jerae’ Gaston, a senior psychology major from Shelby, N.C. They are always patrolling, and when I call for any service, they are always there at a drop of a dime.”
The University falls right on the outskirts of Northeast Central Durham, a 300-block of city that’s referred to as “the Bull’s Eye” by police because of high crime rates. Because of this, it’s easy to think the job of campus security might be a little more difficult than campus security in areas with lower crime rates.
But Fair says that isn’t the case.
“Crime is crime,” Fair says. “It doesn’t matter where it happens. Just like security in less rough areas, we are trained just the same. We are trained to always be on guard and to expect the unexpected. You just do your job.”
Fair says that one of the things Campus Security does particularly well is deterring crime, in part because there is so much coverage on campus at all times and the procedures they have in place.
“I’m not going to say it’s incident free,” she says. “But in the two and a half years I’ve been here, we haven’t had a lot of serious incidents. We are really good at determent.”
Brittania Morgan, a junior exercise sport science major from Troy, N.C., says she’s never felt unsafe on campus and that the good rapport security has with the students really adds to that feeling of security.
“Security is never in big groups to make students feel threatened,” Morgan says. “They are typically very sociable. Having been at NCCU for three years now, officers haven’t really changed, so seeing a familiar face at campus events makes me feel even safer.”