AUC will not renew contract for canine security units

Friday, March 11th, 2011
security dogs

Photo by Peter Wissa

The AUC security office has said that it will not be renewing a contract for canine security units it has used for the past three months.

Following the Alexandria church bombing on De­cember 31, AUC hired a canine unit from Saeed & Raslan Lotus (S&R) Company for the safety and protection of the university and its community.

The sniffer dogs are used to check for traces of explosives in vehicles entering the campus.

Initially, three dogs and an instructor were sta­tioned only at the visitor’s entrance, Gate One, for a cost of EGP 11,000 a month. In the aftermath of the January 25 Revolution and the consequent instability, security measures were tightened and more dogs were brought in to protect Gate Four, bringing expenses up to EGP 22,000 a month.

General Ashraf Kamal, head of the AUC se­curity office, said the university declined a similar offer from the interior ministry, as it would have cost EGP 30,000 a month for each gate.

He added that it was necessary to beef up se­curity measures after several thousand inmates were reported to have broken out or been released from re­gional prisons in late January.

It was during that time that many civilians formed neighborhood watches and militias to po­lice checkpoints and monitor any suspicious activity.

At the Tahrir and New Cairo campuses, AUC security were on high alert for looters; this was made additionaly difficult because campus security person­nel do not carry firearms.

“There were attempts by looters to cross AUC walls,” Kamal said. “[The dogs] have been very use­ful. They protect the university at night.”

The S&R agreement with AUC was originally supposed to end after one month, but was later ex­tended. The current contract expired on March 11.