To provide a secure and safe learning environment, “I take an all hazards approach. There is not an incident that we do not get involved in,” says Balser. There is the big picture and then there are the constituencies with their special needs. It’s a common but challenging balancing act shared by many security executives at large campuses. “This is really a city of its own and we have to always show how we can best help.”
Balser’s mission and scope continue to evolve. About 18 years ago, he says, “we established our own alarm system.” Now there are close to 1,000 cameras on campus. “But when we go into a building or department, we are there to help them make decisions based on their needs” since individual departments pay for their own systems. Still the aim is to follow overall building security standards matching public safety goals.