Pubic Safety: trained for campus action

By Gina Peracchia
December 5, 2002

Angelina Wagner

There are presently 23 Public Safety officers, 12 full-time and 11 part-time, who are trained in CPR and first aid to keep Cabrini safe. They are also trained to deal with specific issues, such as identity theft, that are brought up each year.

Experience in security and the educational background of a potential Public Safety officer are looked at first. According to Charlie Schaffner, the director of Public Safety, Cabrini’s Public Safety officers do not carry weapons, but he regards training with a weapon as a plus.

The main difference between Cabrini’s Public Safety and the public safety of schools like Penn and Drexel is that these larger universities have sworn police officers who carry weapons. These officers have arrest powers, whereas Cabrini’s Public Safety will rely on the Radnor Police Department, if necessary.

“We rely on Radnor [Police] if we have a real problem that we don’t think we can handle, and if it gets to that point then we’ll call for outside assistance. But, we try to handle everything on campus ourselves,” Schaffner said.

In response to hearing that Cabrini’s Public Safety is not trained to use weapons, sophomore Christine Losardo said, “I like the fact that our Public Safety does not carry weapons. It can be intimidating for some students, and it’s not needed on this campus.

CPR and first aid training are given every year to each officer. The first aid training goes on for two days, and CPR training usually takes about four hours. In addition to CPR and first aid, officers are also certified to use an automated external defibrillator, which is to help a person who may be having a heart attack. These devices are located in the Public Safety Office and in the Dixon Center.

Joint training is given with the Residence Life staff twice a year. According to Schaffner, this includes report writing and customer service.

A controversial issue comes up each year on campus that public safety feel they need to learn more about. After learning about the issue, they are trained to handle the situation if it ever were to occur.

Schaffner said in the past Public Safety were trained to handle cultural diversity and identity theft, which is a big problem on college campuses across the country.

One student suggested training on how to handle sexual harassment cases. “I’ve been hearing a lot about girls being sexually harassed on campus this year. I think it would be a great idea if public safety were made aware of this issue and were trained to do something about it,” junior Dave Madrak said.

Each public safety officer makes a complete tour of the campus every night. In addition, each officer makes another tour of either the academic buildings or the residence halls. These tours involve logging a hand-held computer at designated sites around campus.

“We also enforce the Cabrini code of conduct and try to enforce the parking regulations in a fair and equitable manner. Certainly we all know that the campus is somewhat tight for parking on certain days, so of course we relax our enforcement on those days,” Schaffner said.

According to Schaffner, the no. 1 one priority for Public Safety is to keep the campus safe and secure and to protect the people who live and work here.

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Gina Peracchia

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