By Elaine Cornwall, Staff Writer
Before students swarmed campus for move-in day, Campus Security had to work overtime to ensure the safety of the students upon arrival. With nearly 1,300 freshmen, the security team had to find a way to make sure that every student felt safe and secure.
Under the guidance of Jeff Karpovich, the security chief and transportation director since 2008, the team worked overtime to create a smooth and safe transition into the new school year. “This program is four years in the making,” said Karpovich about security at HPU. “We bring in the best and put them through a five-week training system. We stress customer service. We serve everyone who comes onto campus.”
Throughout the summer, the security department trained 235 officers. Each of these officers spent a total of 1,802.5 hours training in the field. This does not include the extensive classes that they also completed. However, even with advanced safety programs set up by the security team, the security officers are not “babysitters.” Karpovich fears that with such a great security system the students may stop thinking about their safety and leave it solely to security. Karpovich said, “We need everyone to be a part of this and to take responsibility for themselves and their belongings.” According to Karpovich, many people often lose their passports within the first month of school.
In an attempt to reach out, the team created new ways for students to stay in tune with safety tips. The security team created a manual that addresses personal safety tips, passport tips, emergency preparedness and transportation. Also, the school built a new security desk in the University Center where students can ask questions or report missing items. They set up a new tip line for students called “Campus Crime Stoppers” where students can all to report a crime instead of logging on Blackboard to report a crime as they once did. Students dial the number and leave the message on the machine.
“Don’t be afraid to call. Nothing is too small. If you see something, say something,” said Karpovich. He also stressed that if you see something that makes you uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to use one of the 50 blue security boxes located around campus.
Karpovich said that all students and faculty need to be aware of their surroundings. “Be alert at all times and check your surroundings before you begin to walk.” “Don’t constantly look down at your phone. This makes you a target. You need to see what is going on around you.” As a precaution, the team has made adjustments to the shuttle service to ensure that every student arrives safely to their destination.
“You always see campus security going around, so you know that they are looking out for you,” said freshman Megan Mckee. “After reading the safety tips, I feel that I am prepared if something happened.”
Many more tips are in this year’s new Safety Manual, which can be found at the security desk in the UC.