December 8, 2023
Bryan Jarboe -- Public safety official performs duty in spite of campus construction.

Public Safety revised operations to facilitate recent growth and change.

For example, the addition of The Colony, formerly known as Parkside Apartments, gives Public Safety more ground to cover.

“Since those students have moved in, it is just another part of campus. We are geared up staffing wise,” Director of Public Safety, Jim Walters, said. “We have a great student body that adheres to the rules, pretty much. So, really, we have been able to assimilate it like any other housing on campus, with the single exception that there is almost a thousand people living in one part of campus.”

Walters was certain that keeping an eye on this new part of the campus was not a difficult problem.

“I think difficult is probably the wrong term. It has changed, because in the other housing units we don’t have the same density as we do at The Colony,” Walters said.

This “change” brings it’s own differences. There are now equally large groups of student residents on the East and West sides of campus.a

Public Safety adjusted patrol lines to accommodate the population spread.

“That in and of itself, has good and bad to it. The density of the older housing has been greatly reduced. We don’t have the same crowding issues and parking issues as we used to,” Walters said. “We have just spread out the students.”

Officers have been specifically assigned to both sides of the campus to spread out and keep both parts well patrolled.

Public Safety also took into account the construction projects on campus that could have limited their view of campus if not considered.

“Public Safety has been extensively involved with the construction process. Over the summer we really had to work our way around some of the construction, it has actually opened up since school began,” Walters said.

Since school started, there are still some areas of campus that are blocked off to students. Public Safety, however, is still in control of how much protection students need during this time.

“We were also part of the planning process so we insisted that we still have visibility into construction areas, to see if there is a safety hazard. It required adjustments but it is just part of a growing campus,” Walters said.

Last week, the Public Safety office issued a mass e-mail that said, “As the new school year begins, the men and women of Public Safety want to welcome all of you to campus and wish you a happy, successful experience.”

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