Polytechnics, university

Safeguarding the ivory towers

Title:  Campus Security  Management: Insights  from the Frontlines’

Author:  Paul Ogidi

Publishers:  Slimmar Concerns Nigeria LTD

Pagination:  200

The contemporary realities on campuses of tertiary institutions, particularly in Nigeria, have given strong signals that there is a need for very effective, efficient and professional security operations on these campuses for conducive, resourceful and enabling environment, for research learning and teaching to be guaranteed.

Managing security threats is therefore key to achieving the foregoing objectives and this is where Paul Ogidi’s book, Campus Security Management: Insights from the Frontlines, becomes a goldmine for security professionals who desire effective and efficient security Management on campuses of tertiary institutions anywhere in the world, particularly the Nigerian clime.

Divided into thirteen chapters, the over 200-page book, is expository, highly educative, illuminating, enlightening and inspiring on the subject matter it treated. It also has a very good, thick cover which is equally beautifully designed.

While the author’s overriding intent is to teach security practitioners and managers how to do their job much better on campuses, the fact that his teaching are further strengthened with many testimonies from his personal and professional experiences as Head of security of a first generation University, is apt.

Thus, in sharing his experiences, he engages the reader fruitfully, taking him or her through the elaborate processes of doing the job and ensuring that positive impact is made and positive results are achieved. Each chapter of the book deals with an aspect of security Management on campus that is very germane, and dependant on one another.

In chapter one, Ogidi elucidates on general introduction to security, touching carefully on such concepts as the two broad aspects of security operations, i.e State Security and Corporate or Industrial Security.

According to him, State Security are those security agencies established by government, they include the Police, Army, Air Force, and other para-military agencies like, Customs, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Department of State Services among others. While the Corporate Security organisations are mostly privately owned security firms which are licensed by the Government to provide security services. He stated that campus security operations does not require license from government since such security services are limited to the campus premises. Ogidi concludes this chapter by explaining the main services of the corporate security organisations, especially as applicable to the tertiary educational institutions.

The author explicates on Campus Security in chapter two, tracing its origin to USA in 1894 with the establishment of the Yale Campus police department by the authorities to check constant face- off between students and host community in New Haven.

He explains that such challenges as students and host community face-offs and other issues related to crimes being committed on campus, among others, had necessitated the formation of campus security in all tertiary institutions across the world and in Nigeria particularly.

The author then concentrates on his case study, the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, where he had served as the Head of security for several years.

He discusses exhaustively the nature of campus security system, its aims and objectives, mission and vision statements, functions, structure, and using the OAU campus under his watch as an example, he touches on the standard operational procedure (SOP) of Campus Security and explains such aspects of the SOP as the CSO’s secretariat, Security Outpost, Fire Services, security communication and control, security monitoring and general security duties as well as Surveillance and Training. The writer also describes the general operations of the campus security system. He gave very professional views on all the concepts under this area.

In chapter three, the author discusses Elements of Campus Security Operations, some of which he identified as Security Liaison which according to him, is about establishing a good relationship with the State Security Agencies. Other relevant topics in this Chapter also includes, application of Intelligence cycle, managing campus security and  proper handling of staff and students of the institution in terms of safety and security as well as effective Management of information of value and Intelligence.

Drawing from his experience, he stresses the need for security personnel in higher institution to be very discreet and careful regarding the management of information so as to avoid fueling crisis and breaching security plans and designs.

He hinges on experience as being more germane to managing campus security system in comparison to the number of books a security manager would have consumed. Hear his professional advice about this sensitive matter:

“It is significant to note that most self-acclaimed security experts are addicted to security books, journals, class consciousness, security workshops and seminars. These books, journals and workshops/seminars prescribe several measures and methods of neutralizing a threat. All these are good and complimentary, but do not make one a true security professional. What makes one a true security professional is one’s years of Frontline practical experience in security activities, passion and intrinsic motivation for it and how you have been able to manage existing and emerging threats including security breaches, as an individual, as a team player and as a security administrator.”

A practical application of security investigation was well explained by Ogidi in chapter four of his book and in this area, he shares with the reader, the procedures involved in apprehending suspects in such a way that such a reader could simply become a detective without having an adequate, prior knowledge of security operations.

He cited some detailed examples of arrests made on the OAU campus through very thorough series of investigations by his team.

The author also discusses those germane attributes of an investigator in Campus Security.

While the book’s chapter five details Ogidi’s professional views on how to protect Very Important Personalities (VIPs) on campus , who, according to him , are the members of the school Management and other principal officers, chapter six deals with a very important area of campus security management which is management of student Union activism on campus. Here , Ogidi draws generously on his experiences in OAU to share with the readers on how to handle this sensitive area of campus security management.

He discusses, to the benefit of readers, such issues arising from managing students’ activism which include managing extremism in students’ activism, curtailing excesses of students’ political activities on campus.

His sincere discussion on this aspect of security management leads him to put in proper perspectives, certain incidents that gained global attention such as the 1999 gruesome murder of student activists including the late General Secretary of the students’ Union Government of OAU, late George Iwilade, the dangers and legal implications of student activists taking laws into their hands in dealing with suspected cultists or criminals in campus among others.

His very touching and didactic story regarding this area of the book, which he titled, ‘A visit from Yesterday’ that gives the narrative about an ex-student leader, Mr. Peters, who suddenly met his death in front of his young family fifteen years after graduation, from an armed robber who had fallen victim of the student leader’s jungle Justice style in form of Maximum Shihi while they were both students in campus, is very apt in advising students on campus against taking laws into their hands when it comes to dealing with suspects of cultism or crimes being allegedly committed in campus.

Ogidi painstakingly elucidates on other matters of serious concerns about campus security in other chapters of the book and these include Management of cultism on campus, in chapter seven, Types and Management of other crimes on campus in series 1 and 11 in chapters eight and nine respectively. In these two series, he discusses very exhaustively and from professional perspective, how any campus security department can effectively manage crimes such as cyber fraud, internet scams, rape, kidnapping, arson, terrorism, vandalisation and other crimes which may be committed by students or non-students on campus.

Ogidi discusses in a very revealing and educative way, the management of workers’ agitations on campus in chapter 10, Management of Religious fundamentalism on campus in chapter 11, Burden of leading a security department on campus in chapter 12 and Security Alerts and Caution in chapter 13. In each of these chapters, one finds out the author’s deep knowledge of the operations of campus security, his passion for the job as well as his expertise leading to the huge successes he has recorded as a practitioner for many years.