Jean Brisebois has a lot of background, and hes already putting
it to use in his new job. In the month since he became Concordias
Director of Security, he has dealt with the overturning of recruitment
tables on the mezzanine, a precipitous rise in thefts in the library,
and the theft of a large number of computers from the universitys
In a varied 30-year career, Brisebois has been an officer in the federal
police, director of public security of a Quebec municipality, and responsible
for the security of two airports. He was a commander of the Canadian contingent
for the United Nations peace mission to Haiti in 1995-96. He served on
the Poitras Commission, which looked into criminal investigation and legislation,
notably with regard to the Sûreté du Québec.
He comes to a university security department that has been without a permanent
director for two years, and faces the challenges of a multi-building,
two-campus site. He has 15 Concordia security officers, but the university
also requires about 60 additional officers from Garda, a private company.
Brisebois is determined to improve morale, image and effectiveness. Security
officers will soon shed their police-like uniform for a tie and jacket.
A strong effort will be made to make sure all officers know both campuses
In return, he expects loyalty and a firm but respectful attitude from
each member of his group. The students and staff are our clientele
that is very important, he said.
Even before the current rash of thefts, he planned to upgrade security
cameras and alarms throughout the campus, and he expects the rest of us
to do our part. He has put a prevention program in place in the library.
Security officers are warning library users when they see belongings at
risk by putting a bright green card into an untended purse or bag.
In January alone, there were an unprecedented 26 reported thefts by library
users, 21 of which were from womens purses. Brisebois suspects a
ring of professionals from outside the university, and until they can
be caught, he urges students to be vigilant.
Brisebois grew up in Montreal North, and like many of his friends, left
school after Grade 11. He became a surveyor Habitat 67 and the
Canadian Pavilion at Expo were among his subjects and then answered
an ad for a job with a police force. I soon realized I needed more
knowledge, so I undertook courses at the Université de Montréal,
he said. He was soon identified as a promising student, and given a scholarship.
He got a BSc, a BBA (business administration) and went back for Masters
of Public Administration, while continuing to do police work.
Brisebois has a palpable enthusiasm for getting involved in his community.
He spends many hours a week as a director of the Air Cadets League, not
to make them soldiers, to make them better citizens. Hes a
past president of the Quebec Council of St. Johns Ambulance.
His real love, however, is working with people at risk. Hes on the
board of CAFAT, a group in Laval that helps people with dependencies,
and he holds monthly business lunches to finance a prize for young people
who conquer their addictions and start a new life.