Ready to respond: UoP’s quick response unit brought up to speed

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The Army Public School (APS) massacre was a wake-up call for educational institutes across the province and one of the first to beef up their quick response force was the University of Peshawar.
The higher education department has also directed colleges and universities to ensure their security is up to the mark before winter vacations end.

UoP Media Director Akhtar Amin told The Express Tribune that apart from bringing their quick response force up to speed, CCTV cameras would also be installed. He added the 70,000 or so students enrolled in UoP were a massive responsibility and it was up to the administration to ensure security for them and the university staff.

He said the quick response unit was created in 2013 with 30 personnel, adding that after the APS attack, the university administration decided to increase the number and equip them with modern arms.
Akhtar said the force would now consist of 70 to 80 personnel and be the first in line to combat any emergency situation. He said that the total strength of the campus police was around 400, adding 160 personnel would be on the premises at any given time.

The media director said the hiring process would begin in a day or two and the selected personnel would start training. He confirmed the purchase of modern weapons for members of the force.
Akhtar said all hostels have been secured and the movement of visitors without cards will also be restricted. The higher education department has issued some guidelines for colleges and universities across the province, directing them to increase the number of security guards at the main gates and only allow people to enter after a thorough check.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2014.