Public Safety new office on main campus

Chandler J. Davidson| Staff Writer|

St. Michael’s College Public Safety recently opened a new remote office in Joyce Hall 107.  This was opened so Public Safety could be  more accessible for students and limit students from having to walk across Route 15. The room consists of one office with one desk and a meeting table but has all the tools needed to  run a shift. Public Safety will continue to maintain their office across the street at the fire station.

Jeff Favreau was hired as the new director of public safety in October. When he came into this  position he explained that having a new office was already in the works. The issue they had run into was that it was not in the budget. After a recent student survey that was conducted by  Public Safety, they thought of a solution. 

“A survey was put out to the campus community gauging how Public Safety is doing, the results  showed us that people were looking for public safety representation on campus,” Favreau said. “Since we were unable to get a new building, the next best option was an office on-campus  where we could meet with people on campus.” 

With the new office, Favreau said that the on campus site will add more convenience and a few advantages. “Not only do we have an office  that students and officers can meet privately, officers have a base of operations on the main campus where they can run their shifts without having to go back and forth to Public Safety across the street from campus,” Favreau said.  

Jenica Botting, ’23, is a fire unit member and dispatch worker for Public Safety.  The new office “is a way for Public Safety to be close to campus, and the dorms,” Botting said. “It makes it easier  for them to respond to incidents as well as an easier access point for students to talk to an  officer instead of walking to the station.” 

Students are split about whether this change is beneficial or has an impact on students.  According to the recent Public Safety survey, when asked if it would be beneficial to the college  community to have Public Safety stationed on the main campus or in a satellite office, 39.9 percent of students answered “No” while 38.6 percent said “Yes.” 

“I do think the new office will be beneficial as it will be easier to locate,” said Emersynn  McGillis, ’26. “We have to register our cars there, so it just makes it easier for everyone. Hopefully the new office will allow Public Safety to get a better understanding of students and  what student life is like. This may help the stigma students have against Pub Safe.” 

Brooke Edgerly ’26 feels differently. “I think that students won’t enjoy it being on campus  because with it being on campus it kind of makes the campus have a feel of an invasion on  space,” Edgerly said. “It makes the campus feel stricter and more crowded. With them being off  campus there is more of a safe space to go to. It may be nice for some cases, but overall I don’t  think many people will like it.”

According to the survey, 35.3 percent of students have had positive interactions with public safety officers, 22.9 percent have had neutral experiences and 13.1 percent that have had a negative experience. Public Safety hopes to make this number of students with negative experience drop by building better relationships with students with the on campus  office. Favreau said that remote offices are “100 percent” an approach for Public Safety to work with  students and fix relationships.  

In the last 6 months, 68 percent of students say they have had an interaction with Public Safety. 24.2 percent of these interactions have to deal with parking situations. Students will now be able to handle these situations, and many more, in a more timely manner at the new remote office. Even with the new office, Public Safety still has the same goals and are making these goals more  accessible. On their website, they describe these goals to be “maintain a safe environment and  provide on-going support services for the Saint Michael’s College community, through  respectful, diverse and dignified policy enforcement, education and partnerships, in support of  the College’s mission.”