By Jackie Massaro
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD — The Public Safety Department on the Blackwood campus of Camden County College patrols the grounds and buildings every day to ensure student, staff and faculty safety.
Public safety is responsible for the security of students’ property as well as the safety of students. Last year, campus security solved a car break-in in Lot 4.
“Car burglaries are crimes of opportunity. Someone sees items of interest or value and they start trying door handles,” John Schuck, assistant director of public safety, said.
Campus security stresses for students to keep valuables out of sight.
At new student orientations, Schuck said he’ll ask students to put the public safety phone number into their contacts as AA Public Safety. “That way, if an individual feels like they are being followed, if they have car trouble, that will be the first number in their contacts.”
In times of uneasiness, students can use emergency blue light systems throughout the courtyards to notify officers immediately. Campus police will come wherever they are and escort them to their destination.
Bridgette Heisler, an education major, said she feels the Blackwood campus is a safe place to be. “Public safety in my opinion seems to be very on top of things and quick to respond. That for me is very comforting.”
Numerous mobile, foot and bike patrols occur around campus. Officers are always on the lookout and want students to be, too.
“If you see something, say something,” Schuck said. “If an individual sees something strange and thinks should I report this, they should always notify public safety.” An example of what to report is seeing someone aimlessly walking around like they don’t belong. However, public safety does not want to limit what is classified as strange behavior.
The campus is not its own world. Outside crime is a threat, too.
“We get notifications from police departments, which mean calls from their cell phone to my cell phone,” Schuck said. Camden County College also has regular meetings to keep the relationship strong and to stay up to date on information.
Public safety has winter weather responsibilities, too. They include snow and ice removal and notifying students, staff and faculty about delays or closings. Notifications are sent through e-mail, the message board on Peter Cheeseman Road and Cougar Call, which is an emergency only text and e-mail system.
“It is important to build strong relationships and to have a strong presence on campus,” Schuck concluded. “Any time someone needs help or has questions, public safety is always open.”