Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
Juliana Wall, Staff Writer
At any college, campus safety is a high priority when choosing a school to attend and at Cedar Crest College (CCC), the Campus Police became an independent internal force in 1990, allowing for a more secure unit and the ability to establish a good relationship with students, faculty, and families.
According to the Campus Police there are currently 12 commissioned officers and an additional five dispatchers, all of whom are trained through the American Red Cross in CPR, First Aid, and how to use an Automate External Defibrillator (AED). All officers are commissioned police officers through Pennsylvania State Police and Lehigh Courts, thus they are armed and have full power of arrest on campus if need be.
Chief Mark Vitalos, who has been in office since November of 2000, remarked that he and the force appreciate when students themselves take on responsibility and report any suspicions or complaints.
“While the force tries its best, there is simply no way for officers to be everywhere all the time, so the department relies on students’ initiative,” Chief Vitalos said.
He went on to say students are also greatly encouraged to take advantage of the escorting services provided by the force.
“If a student, faculty or staff member, at any time, feels unsafe, they can call and the general switchboard and an officer will walk them wherever they need to be on campus, day or night,” he said.
The Campus Police general switchboard number is 610- 437-4471.
The “911” signal for CCC is dialing “0” on any wired phones on campus, including office phones and the red phones which are located in dorm buildings. Fourteen emergency boxes are also located throughout campus that can dial directly to the Campus Police office.
Furthermore, students and faculty are strongly encouraged to sign up for the E2Campus Emergency Notification System, which allows the CCC Campus Police to notify the campus community of an immediate threat to safety of the campus via text message, but mass emails will also be sent out in the event of an emergency. School closing due to inclement weather is an example of when this service would be utilized.
Students and faculty are expected to follow rules and procedures, but the force will always be there to help or to clarify questions. Fire drills are scheduled to occur twice a semester and lock-down drills are set to occur once a semester, but the community will be notified when the drill happens via the E2Campus system.
“My parents definitely were interested in the safety part of this college,” senior Sarah Cook said in regards to when she was deciding on schools.
“The officers are very friendly and will talk to you casually or if you have a problem,” Cook said
freshman Adrianna Schieber said she sees the officers everywhere, but she appreciates it.
Officer Frank Manole, who has been on duty at CCC for two years, says that he is grateful to be working at an institution that highly values safety, diligence, and dedication of its campus police.
“A few parents told me that one of the reasons they chose this college was because they felt safe having their daughter here with a full time police department,” said
Students can always email Chief Vitalis with any concerns or they can come to his office in the police station on campus.
“I have an open-door policy,” he said. “If I am available, I will talk to anyone who wants to because I want to know about any issues on campus and what we can do to help.”