Security staff did not follow protocol when two students reported seeing a man—later determined to be a plainclothes officer—with a gun on campus

The security office is located in the center of the Atrium in the Exchange District Campus.

By Becca Myskiw

Red River College’s Exchange District Campus (EDC) has some new security staff after a student reported a man with a gun on campus.

The man turned out to be a police officer, but the security officers initial response didn’t follow protocol.

On Thursday, Oct. 24, RRC student Jodi Lickley and her classmate saw a man walk past them through the Elgin doors at EDC. Lickley said she had to do a doubletake, then watched the man in disbelief as he carried on through the campus.

“I was just thinking to myself, ‘Okay, was that actually a gun?’” she said. 

Lickley said she couldn’t see the officer’s badge from the angle she was standing at.

After she and her classmate told their class what they saw, Lickley said their instructor took them down to the security desk, which sits in the middle of EDC’s Atrium. They reported the incident to the security team working at the time.

The plainclothes police officer walked through the Atirum on Thursday, October 24. /REICO

Lickley said security kept asking them to repeat what they saw, asked for a description of the man, then let the two witnesses and their instructor return to class.

“I said, ‘He walked right past you guys…multiple times,’” said Lickley.

All of the students in Lickley’s class received an email from chief human resources officer Melanie Gudmundson the following afternoon. Gudmundson said in the email that she’d requested a full investigation into the incident and had updated the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) and they were reviewing security footage from Thursday.

In a follow-up email Gudmundson sent the class on Monday, Nov. 4, she said the man Lickley and her classmate saw with a gun on campus was a plainclothes police officer from the WPS. 

“This was confirmed after a review of our security cameras on-campus and further validated by the Winnipeg Police Service,” said Gudmundson in the email.

Winnipeg Police policy and provincial legislation says plainclothes police officers have to display their badge alongside their firearm — the officer Lickley and her classmate saw was following regulations.

Gudmundson then said in her email the security officers Lickley and her classmate talked to no longer work for RRC because the way they handled the situation didn’t follow protocol. RRC is training new staff to fill the empty spots.

Lickley said she’s glad the incident happened even though it was scary at the time.

“I personally feel safer when [security is] walking around and I can see them,” she said.