Campus Safety and Security works to protect students


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BYU-Idaho Campus Security and Safety protects students in many ways, ranging from emergency quick response to escorting students home from campus at night.

“Provide professional services that maintain a peaceful, secure and safe campus environment,” is the Campus Security and Safety’s mission statement, according to the Campus Security and Safety Web page.

Garth Gunderson, director of Campus Security and Safety, said the security office is always busy keeping students safe 16,000 people on campus.

Gunderson said one of the many ways campus security keeps students safe by placing 500-600 security cameras around campus.

“It lets those that would come here to do harm to students, know that they will be filmed, they will be identified and they will be caught because we have those cameras going,” Gunderson said.

He said students should understand the cameras are not there to spy on them, but rather to provide an essential resource for investigators to refer to in the event that something happens.

“Ninety-nine percent of the things that are recorded are never viewed by human eyes,” Gunderson said.

Gunderson said in the event of an emergency, be it a natural disaster or otherwise, campus security has the ability to send a notifying text message within 30 seconds, which is sent to students who have signed up for the emergency notification system.

“We have a lot of students that haven’t signed up for that,” Gunderson said.

Steve Bunnell, the Support Services supervisor in campus security, said students can go to their myBYUI profile page, on the BYU-I website, to add their cell phone number to the emergency text notification system.

Gunderson said that in the case that there is an active shooter or other threat to students, trained, armed campus security officers can be on the scene within one minute.

“Seconds are critical in those types of situations,” Gunderson said.

He said the armed security officers are highly trained, all having history as either police or correctional officers.

“Our officers shoot the same courses the police shoot,” Gunderson said. “To be a certified police officer you have to shoot with 75 percent accuracy. We require 90 percent of our security officers.”

He said whenever students are on campus, there is always an armed security officer ready to respond to any emergency.

“This job is different than being university police, which we used to be,” Gunderson said. “We are now not so focused on crime investigation. We focus on crime prevention.”

He said that along with armed security and hundreds of security cameras, trained instructors are available to teach Rape Aggression Defense, RAD, classes as well.

Students are able to sign up for RAD classes through the Life Skills Web page, according to the Student Activities Web page.

“We lock every door on campus and check that those doors are locked every night,” Gunderson said.

He said security makes sure every door is locked to ensure the safety of campus assets.

Gunderson said Campus Security will respond if someone is locked out of their car and will even jump a car battery when needed.

“We provide safe walks for people that find themselves up here after dark,” Gunderson said.

He said he gets calls from students’ roommates saying someone has gone missing, and Campus Security will go out and find them.

“It’s interesting just how much goes on behind the scene,” Gunderson said.

Campus Security and Safety offices are located in Spencer W. Kimball Student and Administrative Services Building room 150, according to the Security and Safety Web page. Offices are open 24 hours a day, every day of  the week.

Gunderson said if students need to contact Campus Security they can call extension 3000 or, from a cell phone, 208-496-3000.

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