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Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology is located in Ottawa, Canada. The college has three campuses in the province of Ontario, as well as operations abroad including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, China and Montenegro.
Algonquin has a full time student population of approximately 20,000 and up to an additional 37,000 registrants for their continuing education offerings, which include part-time studies, government sponsored programs, and students taking special interest classes. Algonquin has 3,000 full and part time employees.
The security department is based in Ottawa and consists of approximately 35 team members, 25 of which are uniformed security officers. The department offers a wide range of security services from policy / law enforcement to 9-1-1 integrated emergency response services, complex physical / electronic security systems and an investigations unit. Patricia Eng is the Supervisor of Emergency Communications & Information within the Security Services area and is currently acting Coordinator, Emergency Management.
Patricia is the Perspective super-user at Algonquin, having joined the college in early 2012, following a 10 year security career in the casino industry. She holds a B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a Certificate in Information Systems Security.
Prior to 2010, Algonquin relied on a manual process supported by a data entry function. “We didn’t have an activity log online. Our officers used a logbook, essentially pen and paper to record activities” states Patricia. “For incident reports, we used a custom Microsoft Access database that officers keyed information into”. The move to Perspective meant the migration of 16,000 existing records from the Access database. The implementation timeline was four months, mostly as a result of the data migration effort.
Algonquin implemented Perspective in 2010. The college has up to 10 users on the system during peak periods on any given day. Security Officers in the field communicate by radio with a 24-hour dispatch office staffed by two officers who log activities. All security officers document incident reports directly in Perspective. Algonquin has also deployed the mobile iOS app. “Each officer on duty carries an iPhone, which enhances communications capabilities across the entire security operation. In addition to the augmented communications value, officers use the app to conduct incident and person inquiries while on patrol and can initiate incident reports from the field, without having access to a desktop PC or laptop” says Patricia.
Perspective is a flexible and adaptable tool that allows the Security operation to effectively respond to changes in monitoring and reporting needs that are driven by regulatory, social and internal organizational influences. As such, Perspective supports a highly competent security operation with professional data management capabilities as well as being used actively to enhance investigations and operations. The Security service is well positioned to respond to current and future internal and external reporting requirements.