The future of Quinnipiac’s safety

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The future of Quinnipiac’s safety

Photo courtesy: qu.edu

Photo courtesy: qu.edu

Photo courtesy: qu.edu

Photo courtesy: qu.edu

Kaye Paddyfote

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You may notice that Hamden police is frequently present on the Mount Carmel campus. They are there to provide the university some extra safety.

Bill number HB-7242, an act concerning police officers at independent institutions of higher education, would allow universities to have “hybrid police departments with Police Officer Standard and Training Council (P.O.S.T) certified officers on campus.” The bill also states that officers appointed as police at independent institutions of higher education must be certified by the Police Officer Standard and Training Council (POST), and officers and units at the institutions need to comply with POST standards and policies.

Some members of the Quinnipiac community are in favor of this bill. 

“Quinnipiac University’s top priority is to always maintain the safety and security of all members of the university community,” Bethany Zemba, vice president and chief of staff said. “That is why we fully supported a bill before the state legislature that would have made it possible for Quinnipiac’s Public Safety Department to become a police department with a combination of security and police officers.”

Quinnipiac’s chief of public safety explained why he is in favor of the bill as well.

“Having a hybrid police force would make things much safer,” Chief Edgar Rodriguez said. “Additionally, it would enhance the level of service, more prompt responses getting notified by local police providing access to P.O.S.T training, and improving career paths for officers.”

Quinnipiac’s public safety is located on the first floor of Irma, a first-year residence hall.

Neighboring schools, such as the University of New Haven, also have a police force on-campus.  

“We’re a sworn police department, just like any other municipal police department,” Ronald Quagliani, associate vice president of public safety at the University of New Haven said. “Our officers get hired based on their requirements of state statutes then they go through the Connecticut police academy, just like other officers would go through and get their certification. We have special powers that are identified in the city of West Haven charter. We get our authority through the city of West Haven.”  

There are many positives to having a police force on campus, such as not having to rely on anyone else.  

“We know our student population and they know us,” Quagliani said. “We don’t have to worry about some other officer coming in, that may not understand the culture or the students hear on campus. We spend an awful lot of time to make sure we develop a positive relationship with the students so they can trust us and they know they can rely on us. It’s very important to know who your officers are that are protecting you while you’re away from home, and just as important for emergency response if there is some situation we don’t have to wait for other reinforcements to come. We are trained, we are armed and we have all the powers as a police officer to take immediate action.”

Some of Quinnipiac’s public safety officers already carry weapons on their person, but if they were to become a police force, all members would be able to carry with the proper training.