After a gun was allegedly pulled on campus last week, questions have been raised about how Ryerson security should warn students of such incidents.
According to Tanya Poppleton, manager of security and emergency services, an unknown male approached a group of Ryerson community members at Gould and Victoria streets early in the morning on March 31. He pointed “what appeared to be a gun at them.”
Security was alerted shortly after. They then notified Toronto police, as per protocol.
But while the incident took place at 1:25 a.m. on Thursday, Ryerson staff and students didn’t receive an email notification about the incident until 5:52 p.m. on Friday.
When asked why students and staff were not informed of a potential gun threat on campus until over 28 hours later, Poppleton said that while the incident took place near Devonian Square, it is not “technically on campus.”
She also said that security alerts are sent out within one to two business days following an incident.
Julia Lewis, director of Ryerson’s Integrated Risk Management, said in an email that, “in this circumstance, we responded in consultation with the Toronto Police Service and subsequently followed our incident reporting protocol.”
David Hyde, a security and risk management specialist at David Hyde & Associates in Toronto, said that while every incident is unique, in situations involving weapons, urgency can trump due diligence.
Hyde said that although security should not prematurely unnerve students and staff, when a threat with an active attacker is confirmed a news bulletin should be sent out “immediately.”
“You have somebody with a weapon near the university where there are going to be students studying and cramming at 1:30 in the morning,” Hyde said.