Public Safety debuts new Adopt-a-Hall program

August 29, 2014
safety officers in Park Lot on Move In Day

Starting this semester, students living in each University residence hall will have a go-to Public Safety officer—or two—that they can get to know and contact throughout the year.

The Adopt-a-Hall program, created with support from Dean Richard Feldman and The College, assigns Public Safety officers to one or two residence halls and makes them readily available for concerns or questions from the students, as well as makes them a liaison between the Department of Public Safety and the hall’s RAs, GHAs (graduate house advisors), and Residential Life staff. The program includes undergraduate River Campus residence halls, the Eastman School’s Student Living Center, and Riverview Apartments.

The officers will spend time with students and staff, be available to attend hall events and meetings, and make extra security checks and patrols of the halls.

“We hope that through this proactive approach, students will become more comfortable approaching Public Safety officers about their concerns because they’ll have familiar faces to talk to throughout the year,” said Public Safety Chief Mark Fischer. “The students will benefit from knowing that these officers, and Public Safety as a whole, are genuinely concerned about them and their safety. And when our officers know a particular hall and its students well, then they have a better understanding of the needs and concerns of the residence that they protect.”

Fischer also notes that an increase in patrols done by an officer familiar with a residence hall will help to reduce the likelihood of thefts, break-ins, and other potential crimes as officers will more acutely know when something doesn’t look right.

As part of the program, assigned officers will introduce themselves to the residents and provide them with their work e-mail address. They will attend hall meetings at least two times per semester, and hall staff will be able to request safety and prevention presentations through them. The assigned officers will also provide follow-ups to any issues or incidents concerning residents, acting as a liaison between halls and Public Safety.

“Overall, we want to foster the best possible relationship between our students and our officers,” said Fischer. “And seeing the officers as ‘real people’ will hopefully reduce the intimidation factor, as well as increase the likelihood of obtaining help from the students when needed.”

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