The Archway has teamed up with Dr. John Saddlemire, Vice President of Student Affairs, to provide first-hand information about administration and university endeavors. In each “Ask the VEEP” edition, Dr. Saddlemire will answer questions regarding a specified topic. This week, we discussed campus safety. The following questions were submitted by students and answered by Dr. Saddlemire himself. If you have any questions that you would like featured in future editions, please email Allie Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit ideas via Twitter!
Miller: A lot of seniors inquired about the new ID scanners at the townhouses, what’s the reasoning behind this new initiative?
Saddlemire: An incident last spring that involved a non-student entering unlocked townhouses led the University to research how to improve townhouse security. I led a delegation of student affairs administrators to visit Providence College, Roger Williams University, Merrimack College, Bentley, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart to find out what they were doing in regards to townhouse security. All of these schools have card access on the exterior entry. With that standard as a baseline, Leaders from the divisions of Information Technology and Facilities researched state-of-the-art door access systems and chose an excellent new system for our Bryant townhouses. The new system will be installed over the fall semester. As always, the most secure townhouses are the ones in which the residents lock their bedroom and exterior doors.
Miller: I know that many DPS officers are retired police officers, do officers go through any Bryant-specific training?
Saddlemire: Although some DPS officers may have had lengthy law enforcement careers and countless hours of training, all newly hired DPS officers are required to attend a two-week “college-specific” RICUPS (RI Coalition of College and University Public Safety) Academy now overseen by the RI Municipal Police Training Academy. In addition to that, newly hired DPS officers spend approximately 160 hours in a “Field Training Officer” program. During this period, the officers learn the specific logistical requirements needed to perform all required tasks as a Bryant DPS officer. Finally, DPS conducts semi-annual “in-service training” sessions where the entire department receives training in a variety of areas related to their function. These include such topics as the Clery Act, search & seizure, ethics, and emergency medical treatment. Also, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion provides training regarding sexual assault, Title IX, and bias-based policing, among other topics.
Miller: Are DPS officers permitted to carry guns? Is that something that might become a consideration as gun violence becomes more prevalent across the nation?
Saddlemire: Department of Public Safety officers are not permitted to carry guns. Based on the kind of issues that arise on our campus, it has been decided that guns are not necessary or appropriate. Bryant University also has a long-standing positive relationship with the Smithfield Police Department, who is very responsive to emergency needs on campus.