By Jillian Kirkham
Ever been in a sticky situation around campus with no idea who to turn to for help? Did the campus safety team come to mind? The dedicated officers on the Malone safety team are a fantastic resource that many students may not be aware of.
What most students may also not realize is that the phone number for campus safety is right on the back of their Malone identification card. While covered during freshmen orientation, it is almost never spoken about again. This also happens with the Campus Shield app, a free app that allows anyone to make anonymous or named reports without having to actually call the safety department.
Based in Haviland Hall David Burnip, director of campus safety, leads the team. Gary Weed, the assistant director of campus safety, takes charge of teams that consist of at least five other officers on a rotation of shifts.
Some may catch sight of a campus security officer from time to time, whether that be on their golf cart riding around campus or up in the cafeteria during late night. The jobs that the campus safety team do around campus include, but are not limited to, assistance during fire and medical emergencies, assistance with minor car problems, being an escort to any student who needs it, parking enforcement and building and residence hall inspections. With the current pandemic, all jobs around campus are pretty intense.
“At least some students have the decency to leave a space the first time I ask,” Andrew Baumgart, campus security officer, said. “These new rules about visitors made students extra crafty.” With visitation around campus restricted, and with the Barn being the only space not under “lockdown,” some students have gone out of their way to ensure they get to spend time with their friends.
The campus safety officers take their jobs very seriously, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be considered friends to the campus community. Many of the officers will gladly stop to have a conversation with a student who wishes to do so. Baumgart, especially, will gladly talk about his kids and his family life, as will Kelly Brown, campus security officer who enjoys talking about her grandkids.
It’s important to remember that even though the officers work tirelessly to keep the campus safe, they still have families to go home to at the end of the day and that while they are on campus they more than likely view the students as a secondary family.
“I enjoy talking to Andrew and Kelly,” Emma Wiseman, sophomore biochemistry major, said. “They always have fun stories and I’m kinda their favorite. They love me.”
“If you ever want a story, a good story, go visit Tim in Haviland Hall,” Baumgart said of his colleague, Tim McFadden, campus security officer. “He’s always got the best stories and he loves to talk.”
Being connected to other people, especially during a pandemic, is extremely important. The campus safety officers go above and beyond to make all of the students feel right at home. They do a wonderful job—a kind word or some time from a student’s day is a small thanks to give to such hard workers!