I was working at the University of Pennsylvania when the position for director was opened. My vice president at Penn suggested that I send in my resumé. I was curious as to why she made the suggestion. But since she was my boss, I followed her instructions. I obtained the position after an interview that was held in the boardroom with about 15 interviewers.
Why did you get involved in the public safety field?
I was a Philadelphia police officer for 23 years. I felt that my career as an officer was a good background for the campus public safety field.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Trying to have our community share in the responsibility of keeping themselves from becoming a victim of crime.
What’s the most satisfying part?
Meeting the terrific people who work, study, and live here.
What’s the most unusual situation your office has faced?
There are many, but one that I found quite unusual is when a parent called to complain about a couple of officers hurriedly responding to a fire alarm. I am not sure what they wanted us to do—slowly respond?
On average, how many calls does public safety receive in a week to let students into their rooms?
It has changed since the rooms lock automatically. But now, it is more than 150.
What is the hardest day of the year for your staff (i.e., Commencement, Homecoming), and why?
I do not think the days are hard, but certain events require planning and extra staffing because of the number of visitors. Therefore, our officers are required to work additional hours. Plus, officers may encounter individuals who refuse to listen to direction during some events, but the officers need to maintain a professional and positive attitude when dealing with unruly behavior. Some days can be a little more exciting—and not necessarily in a positive way.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
I worked in Bosnia for 18 months after leaving the Philadelphia Police Department. I worked as an international police officer for the United Nations. I was assigned primarily to the Human Rights Office where I investigated trafficking of women and children into the country.
If there were one thing you could tell people about how to stay safe on campus, what would it be?
Always be aware of your surroundings. When off campus, do not walk and talk on the cell phone or listen to music through earphones.src="http://blogs.fandm.edu/magazine