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The Rowan University Department of Public Safety’s Student Patrol had its roots in the Fall 2007 semester when University President Donald Farish issued a Fourteen Point Security Enhancement Initiative on October 30, 2007. Point #5 of the initiative directed the Department of Public Safety to develop a Student Patrol Program whereby university students would be recruited, uniformed, and trained to bolster the regular officers’ efforts to patrol the campus and maintain a safe environment.
Shortly afterwards, the Director of Public Safety, met with selected officers to lay the groundwork for the establishment of the Student Patrol. At that time, the Department of Public Safety began to develop hiring and recruitment criteria, a training curriculum, and a uniform for the new program which began in January 2008. Additionally, a member of the university’s Law & Justice Studies Department was appointed as faculty advisor to the program due to the program’s academic aspect.
In January 2008, the department hired twelve undergraduate students from the Law & Justice Studies Program who had been selected after having gone through an application and interview process as well as a background investigation. These twelve students then underwent over thirty hours of training which included topics such as patrol concepts, report writing, CPR/AED/First Aid training, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Incident Command System’s 100 level training.
The twelve newly trained Student Patrol Officers began "walking the beat" in mid-February 2008 under close supervision. The Student Patrol Officers served the university faithfully until the close of the Spring 2008 semester in May with some of the students actually working on the day of Commencement 2008 to assist the Department of Public Safety.
During the course of the Student Patrol’s first semester in service, the student officers maintained a highly visible and uniformed presence seven days a week during the late night and early morning hours while on patrol. Additionally, the Student Patrol Officers assisted the regular Public Safety Officers on calls for service as well as detecting and reporting suspicious or criminal activity to campus police and security officers. On three occasions, Student Patrol Officers detected activity involving controlled dangerous substances while on foot patrol and notified regular Public Safety Officers of their findings which resulted in an arrest as well as disciplinary referrals to the university’s Office of Judicial Affairs. Also, the Student Patrol Officers observed and interrupted an incident of criminal mischief while in progress and assisted in maintaining the perimeter of a near-fatal motor vehicle crash scene.
All twelve of the first Student Patrol Officers successfully completed the program in May 2008 with ten of them graduating from the university with their bachelor’s degrees in Law & Justice Studies. Two returned in the Fall 2008 semester to continue their studies as Law & Justice majors.