Guarding our campus: The story behind campus security

By Jalen Gumbs

Photo Editor

“They just walk around.”

“They open the door for you when you get locked out.”

“You go to them when you lose your ID and stuff.”

There are many misconceptions among the students here at Seton Hill University (SHU) regarding the duties involved with campus security and these are just a few given by Shaquille Burt, Maddie Derby and Stephen Clarke.

Campus security is the police force for the University and each officer who works here on campus has the same authority and power of any genuine law enforcement officer.

Currently, SHU has 11 members on staff working for the Security Department of Seton Hill. Michael Dell is the current Chief of Campus Police, and sees a steady flow of faces from his office in Lowe hallway.

Dell has been working for SHU for approximately 17 years now and enjoys his job dearly. “My everyday experiences are special and I encounter new things every day,” says Dell “I like the people, students, staff, and faculty. They are all good people.”

Before coming to SHU, Chief Dell worked as the chief of the Greensburg police for 17 years. Chief Dell describes his favorite part of his job as being able to meet new people every day. “Even though I may not know everybody by name,” Dell says, “I get to see lots of faces.”  but I get to see lots of faces.”

Every member of the campus police team is trained and all have passed the training standard known as Act 235. Act 235, better known as the Lethal Weapons Training Act, which is the minimum training program that all security personnel must pass. However due to policy put in place by the administration campus police does not carry firearms.

Contrary to the belief of some students, the people of campus security are all trained and most have even attained degrees in criminal justice according to Chief Dell.

At any given time there are always two officers on duty. While some may ask, “Why only two?” The answer is quite simple. For every thousand people, a certain number of officers are needed.

Campus police do more than just open doors for students that lock themselves out. Having full police authority here at SHU, campus police can hold or arrest students for any probable reason including possession and disorderly conduct. Campus security also does patrol the school campus at random intervals throughout the day.

One officer patrols the main complex, which is approximately the 20 acres that make up Seton Hill’s main complex.

The next officer is meant to patrol the “Outside complex,” which is composed of three to four downtown locations.

“ Two officers came up the stairs on a report of a student with pot” said Bitsy an RA in Brownlee hall. “They smelled the pot and after searching the room they held him for possession of illegal substances.”

Campus police sees many unusual scenarios from students locked out in towels and people hiding alcohol under in the tunnels all in the name of trying to keep SHU safe.

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