Public Safety is who Alfred University students call when they have a problem. They tend to have a strained relationship with the campus, as some students associate them heavily with the Alfred Police Department, or otherwise dislike officers and their parking tickets or unwanted attention.
However, there is no doubting the impact that Public Safety has on campus. Whether the call is for a domestic dispute or a drunk friend, they’re one of the first people to respond—and they often do their best to calm down the situation.
The problem is that Public Safety is woefully understaffed, and undertrained. According to a few students on campus, there have been—and will continue to be—workshops to help train some of the volunteer officers on how to handle altercations on campus.
Chief of Public Safety, Jessica Middaugh, said, “Public Safety is creatively managing with the understaffing. I am always looking to hire more part-time officers to help with coverage. Ideally, we would prefer to have a full-time department for 24/7 coverage along with a decent sized part-time officer staff.”
President Zupan shares Middaugh’s preference, in saying that he plans to go 24/7 as soon as possible. What they’re waiting for, though, is the financial logistics. The board involved in this decision are confident it will go over well, but there is always uncertainty when it comes to approving funds for a drastic change.
College campuses are notorious for being in need of quick response times, and although the reported crime statistics for Alfred University are significantly lower than other colleges in the area, there will always be a time where a student calling wished that there was someone to respond.
As Middaugh said, they’re creatively managing. In the meantime, Public Safety is looking to hire more volunteers and part-time officers. Students can apply, as well as non-students, that qualify.
If you need to contact Public Safety, call 607-871-2108. They also adopt an open-door policy where community members can go to the Physical Plant and ask questions or share concerns they have.
By Sam Sage