By Aditya Rajendran (B.E ICE, 2014-18)
The Bridge presents a peek into the veil of round-the-clock security in Tech
The passage of time, albeit capricious, is one of the most perpetual phenomena, having such an everlasting impact on life itself. One of the defining characters amidst the chaos that it presents, is change; And change brings along with it a plethora of fiends, that seek to provoke the very existence of life. This is why even our ancestors, the honorable chimpanzees, sought to assert their right over their territory, and put their lives at stake for their kin. Simply to keep them safe and secure.
In this day and age, words like “safety” and “security” might seem to be part of a slowly waning dream. Most of us students, take this aspect of college life for granted, to say the least. The very thought of wearing the ID cards makes some wince in irritation. And the sight of watchmen checking for them makes us rush into searching our bags for it.
Have we, whenever and however briefly for, cared enough to spare a thought towards their reason for doing so?
Having witnessed firsthand the sheer amount of effort and sweat that goes into the entire process of keeping the campus secure, I can assure you, that this is no child’s play.
“It must be, I thought, one of the race’s most persistent and comforting hallucinations to trust that “it can’t happen here” — that one’s own time and place is beyond cataclysm.”
As Mr.Wyndham so clearly states, the human mind tricks itself into thinking that one’s own time and place is beyond cataclysm. Beyond any form of chaos. Needless to say, this is the 21st century, and virtually anything can happen anywhere.
This would be the pertinent moment when this person would say, “Not on my watch!”
Meet Mr.A.S.Nandakumar, Addl. Dy. Commissioner Of Police (Retd.), Coimbatore city.
Currently the Manager of Security, responsible for the security of all PSG Institutions including PSG Sarvajana Hr. Sec. School, PSG College of Arts and Science, PSG Institute of Management and PSG College of Technology.
With an experience in the magnitude of 35 years in the Police force, the very aura he emanates is reassuring of the surrounding. “Maintenance of security is certainly not a piece of cake”, he says. “The task of maintaining security relies on the presence of 29 security points, manned by 63 personnel, in 3 shifts- A,B,C”; “With each shift comprising the hours (4 to 8),(8 to 12), and (12 to 4) respectively, we assure round-the-clock presence of security”, he explains.
He in turn delegates his authority to two Security Officers, Mr.R.W.Collins, Assistant Commissioner Of Police (Retd.), and Mr.R.Viswanathan, Sub-Inspector Of Police (Retd.).
“Our first and foremost priority is to safeguard life and property”, says Mr.Collins. “My typical day usually comprises of 8 a.m to 8 p.m and all the hours in between”, he says with a laugh. “The mentality and mindset of students now is comparatively more submissive and controlled, than the situation a while back”, he says.
“Security is something that goes further than the presence of personnel alone”, says Mr.Viswanathan. “All security officers are equipped with fire safety training, and a mock fire fighting drill is held once a month for all security personnel”, he says.
When asked the reason for most personnel being retired Police officers, Mr.Nandakumar says , “Situation Management is something that Police Officers have tremendous experience in”; “So, in the event of the occurrence of any kind of situation, they will be able to respond swiftly and take agile decisions”, he explains. “Experience is vital in this line of work. Especially considering that it deals with ensuring the safety of lives, one can never be too safe”.
“Something as small as an ID card plays such an important role in our college, especially since it is an open campus”, says Mr.Viswanathan. “The ID card mainly helps us avoid intruders from gaining access to the college premises”;
“CCTV monitoring has certainly enhanced security everywhere, and it provides working proof that technology has come a long way and now serves to ensure the safety of a human being”; “Right from the parking area until the cloak room near the library, every single inch in the entire premises is covered by CCTV surveillance”, he says.
“Recording of surveilled footage is also performed, which helps us refer back to monitor past movements”. “Overnight, the entire perimeter of the college premises is constantly patrolled, and the aforementioned security points are continuously manned by personnel to ensure maintenance of security”.
“Certain levels of security must be upheld in the hostel premises at all times. This is implemented by our coordination with the respective wardens. We are responsible for scanning and reporting the arrival and departure of students, which provides us a way to monitor their activities, which ultimately allows us to ensure their safety”, says Mr.Collins. “Adequate security is also maintained in the additional hostel premises housing the diploma students”, he says.
“Even though ragging has been on the low in the past couple of years, one cannot unconditionally disregard it, since it constitutes a vital part of the equation”; “To explicitly and stealthily keep a lookout for such activities, we begun the formation of an exclusive Anti-Ragging team constituting students from various departments. They provide us crucial information which helps us monitor these activities”, says Mr.Viswanathan.
When asked what his most unforgettable moment was, “The debacle that occurred the past Hostel day proved to be quite a dilemma”, he says with a laugh.
As I found myself exiting the department of security, I was assuring myself that it was perhaps one of the most remarkable experiences in my life.
The Bridge would like to express its utmost gratitude towards the Department of Security for having allocated time for us in their busy schedule.
ADITYA RAJENDRAN (B.E ICE, 2014-18) is a unique individual with interests ranging from physics and electronics to astronomy and English literature. He is an accomplished gamer and also likes to be up to date with recent advances in prototype technologies.
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