Todd Zimmerman appointed new director of campus security

Police retiree approaches directorship with community-based philosophy 

Todd Zimmerman.
Credit: 
Supplied by Queen's

This fall, Todd Zimmerman retired from 35 years of police work to become the new director of campus security at Queen’s. 

Zimmerman, who has a degree in law and security from Athabasca University, spent 33 years with the Greater Sudbury Police before moving to Espanola, ON, where he served as police chief for one year.

When the latter position was replaced during the town’s transition to OPP law enforcement, Zimmerman decided to try something new. 

“I wanted a new experience and a new challenge, and I saw an advertisement for Queen’s University,” he said. “I thought, that’s awesome. I can’t wait. I’d love that to happen.”

During his policing career, Zimmerman was a criminal investigator, a sexual assault investigator, and a forensics officer. 

As well as spending time as an inspector, Zimmerman specialized in break and enter cases during his seven years working for the Canadian Securities Institution.

With twelve years of experience in upper management and running the criminal investigation division and 

uniform branch in Greater Sudbury, Zimmerman believes his versatile experience in police work will assist him in his new role at Queen’s. 

“I’ve pretty much done everything you can think of in policing,” Zimmerman told The Journal. “Every aspect of security and every part of my function, I’ve done it before, in either a big or small setting.”

One of the main methods Zimmerman hopes to transfer from police work to security is the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police community safety and wellbeing plan.

In the safety and wellbeing plan, officers work with different partners and agencies to “make things better for society,” according to Zimmerman. 

Zimmerman said he plans to take this community-based model and apply it to Queen’s by connecting with both students and local resources.

“You can’t accomplish anything without the support of the community or the public,” he said. “That’s my philosophy coming to Queen’s.”

Looking to engage with student leaders, Zimmerman consulted the Society of Graduate and Professional Students and is planning to do the same with the AMS. 

His vision for the relationship between students and security is one of support and accessibility.

“It’s getting out to the student population to be there for them and support them,” Zimmerman said. “That’s where I want to go with security here at Queen’s.”

One of his goals is to make his security team a resource for students seeking help outside of emergency services.

“If people need assistance with Student Wellness [Services] or any other student groups or victim services in the community outside of Queen’s, we can help them get what they need,” he said. 

“We want to help them get engaged with the right people, making them aware of the options.” 

When it comes to major campus events like Homecoming and student protests, Zimmerman said he aims to ensure a safe environment for everyone.  

“The security is for everyone,” he said. “Our goal is to make sure everyone is safe, but if it does get out hand, we have to rely on the Kingston Police Service.”

While it can still be necessary to call police back-up, Zimmerman wants to emphasize a supportive nature in his security team. 

“There’s going to be times when stuff’s going to happen and we’re going to have to take that enforcement role, but there’s lots of other times we can be supportive,” he said. 

“We’re part of the student experience, and we want it to be a positive student experience.” 

 

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