Matthew A. Swain, Chief
The Department of Public safety was created to maintain law and order on the campuses of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College by working to prevent crime and apprehending violators when crimes do occur. The department serves a diverse population of students, faculty and staff with an emphasis on the philosophy of community oriented policing. In addition to Law Enforcement and Parking control, the department is also responsible for Emergency Management preparedness efforts and is tasked with the University’s Emergency Operations Plan that would be activated should a natural or man-made incident strike the campus. Coordination of the institutions’ Clery program is also provided by the Public Safety Department.
The campus police section provides law enforcement and a variety of community and benevolent services. The department is staffed with full time sworn and non-sworn officers. All sworn police personnel are certified by the State of West Virginia as law enforcement officers and exercise full arrest powers. Graduation from the West Virginia State Police Academy or equivalent recruit training are required as well as the completion of annual in-service training to maintain certification and competencies.
The campus is within the city limits of Fairmont, which allows the Campus Police to work closely with the City of Fairmont Police Department through a Mutual Aid agreement that enables both departments to work together in one another's jurisdictions upon request. The Fairmont and Campus Police Departments are also involved in a Federal Grant funded program called “Project Safe Neighborhood” that consists of joint patrols through the City and Campus to deter crime.
The Department of Public Safety also provides various other services to the campus community including:
One member of the staff is a certified Emergency Medical Responder who, in addition to also responding to medical emergencies on campus, coordinates the campus AED (automated external defibrillator) program and in-service emergency medical training for other police and security staff within the department.
The department provides students with the opportunity for employment. The office generally staffs 5 to 10 student security officers who may work as much as 20 hours per week. While many are Criminal Justice Majors, students in any course of study are welcome to apply for the program. Uniformed student officers work in pairs and/or with police and regular security officers, are radio equipped, and are routinely dispatched to provide escorts, help lock and unlock doors, enforce parking regulations, patrol the campus, and assist in parking details and event security.
The Department of Public Safety employs communications operators for the daily maintenance of the office. These employees are also responsible for processing parking tickets, taking payments, processing appeals, and distributing parking decals.
All of the employees of the Department of Public Safety are professional and highly motivated individuals dedicated to promoting a safe, secure, and orderly learning environment for our students, employees, and visitors.
The Mission of the Department of Public Safety is to protect, serve, and create a secure, safe, and academically sound learning environment free of crime and disorder for the students, faculty, and staff of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College. We will provide high quality, community-based police, security, and parking services while creating and maintaining the level of emergency preparedness necessary to meet the needs of today and the challenges of tomorrow. The department serves with integrity, discretion, and expediency in a fair, proper, and thorough manner. Our greatest asset is our personnel; our greatest strength is our partnership with the campus community.