EU’s Unsung Hereos: Public Safety/Plant Operations

Public Safety

Ryan: I know that the security officers do a lot – you run the shuttle, and I often see officers patrolling campus. Can you tell me more about security’s role?

Jim: The shuttle is a big part of it. We get about 100 calls a day, and 60 of those are for the shuttle. 60% of those 60 are usually single passengers, so that takes up a lot of our time. We also patrol campus; officers patrol the whole campus at least once a shift. We lock and unlock all the buildings every day, and we respond to alarms, medical emergencies, and other calls.

Ryan: How many of you are there right now?

Jim: At the moment, we have 8 full-time officers and one part-time officer. I’d say 50% of the officers have been here for a number of years. It’s often a second career for those guys. The other 50% is usually younger guys, and there’s a higher turnover rate for them.

Ryan: Are you connected to other security departments?

Jim: Yes. We’re connected to people across the state, and we’re able to hear about campus crime sprees and anticipate them. A number of years ago we heard about some people robbing book stores on the main line, and we were able to anticipate them. They didn’t come to Eastern though. We have the one road in and the one road out, and a lot of the time our shuttle is right there, so it’s high visibility for security. That discourages people from trying anything. We also work closely with the Radnor Police. We schedule active shooter training with them, and they use our West Lot sometimes in the summer for vehicle training.

Ryan: Last semester there was a blurb in a security report about a goose that crashed into someone’s car. Has anything else like that happened while you’ve been here?

Jim: Well, a while ago someone reported there was a dead goose floating in the lake. But we determined once again that there was no foul play involved.

Ryan: Is there anything more in particular that you’d like to share with Waltonian readers?

Jim: We appreciate the Waltonian getting info out to students. Students usually ignore emails, but they somehow get attracted to the Waltonian, so we appreciate you guys saving a spot for us.

Plant Operations

Ryan: So it’s my understanding that Plant Operations has a really big job. Is that right?

Anthony: Yeah. Like when it snowed this year – we basically stay here when that happens. Snow for us is all hands on deck, and it’s totally in-house. If there are vacant dorms we’ll usually stay in them so we can keep going. And it doesn’t matter what your title is – you’re on.

Ryan: So you were here too?

Anthony: Oh yeah.

Ryan: Who works for Plant Ops?

Anthony: We have 17 people. Jeff is the main guy, and I report to him. We have Kathy at the help desk, a grounds crew, painters, carpenters, mechanics, electricians, a plumber, general maintenance people, and phone techs. Kathy gets all the calls and all the work requests. Evan is our grounds manager. He’s also a licensed arborist, so he’s the one that communicates with the Shay Tree Commission when we need to cut down and replace trees. John Groff is our lead electrician. Scotty is our part-time painter. He’s probably been here 20 years.

Ryan: Is that an especially long time?

Anthony: Not really. Lots of guys stick around for a long while.

Ryan: How much of the job has to do with work requests?

Anthony: Maybe 60%. They go from small stuff like changing a light in a dorm to digging up a street.

Ryan: What do you guys do outside of work requests?

Anthony: We take care of all the landscaping and general maintenance things. And we’re available 24/7. We always have an on-call person ready to come in. We usually rotate that once a week. We do lots of inspections and stuff that people don’t know about, and that they don’t need to know or worry about. We do sprinklers every quarter. We do building inspections, inspections with RDs, tree inspections, energy management inspections, boiler inspections, and infrared – lots of stuff.

Ryan: What’s infrared?

Anthony: We hire an outside company to scan the roofs for heat loss and moisture, and also to scan every electrical outlet on campus. If there are any problems, we fix them.

Ryan: Is there anything more in particular that you’d like to share with Waltonian readers?

Anthony: We have a great crew. Good people. Everybody works together, and they like what they do. I’m happy to work with them.

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