Over the past few weeks at Eastern, many students around campus have noticed a change in the Public Safety Department’s security staff. Eastern’s new Head of Security, Michael Bicking, retired recently from West Chester University. However, after hearing about the security position here at Eastern, he knew he wanted to take it and strengthen the department.
“I’d like to build on the success the department has had…and make us more of a presence on campus,” Bicking said.
Even in a short time, Bicking has made his presence known by attending Resident Assistant meetings to become more familiar with the leadership of Eastern. Bicking appreciates the student leaders of Eastern who enforce the rules of the campus. He admits that it is a hard job to enforce rules, and often commends student leaders wherever he goes.
Though Bicking is new to Eastern, he has had an impressive career in law enforcement and public safety
When Bicking was younger, his dad was the local Chief of Police. After college, Bicking followed in his father’s footsteps and went on to work in the municipal police force for eight years, serving as an officer, detective, and sergeant. After almost a decade in local law enforcement, Bicking transferred to West Chester University in Pennsylvania to be a campus detective. However, after just three years, Bicking was promoted to West Chester University’s Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety. After working there for 28 years, Bicking was planning to retire in Sept. 2017, until he heard about the open Head of Security position at Eastern.
“Something about this university spoke to me, so I put off retirement to come here,” Bicking said.
As he is new to Eastern, Bicking is taking his time to assess to Public Safety Department’s various responsibilities. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, van transportation services, closing and opening buildings, and overseeing the safety of all the students. After assessing the various responsibilities of his department, Bicking plans to create a comprehensive plan to improve the department’s services to Eastern. This includes re-examining the budget.
To ensure safety and make the Public Safety Department more of a presence on campus, Bicking wants each student to know him and his team. Bicking tries to get out of the office whenever he can in order to walk around campus and meet as many students and faculty members as possible. Bicking even wants to be invited to different student- led club and organization meetings. In addition to this, Bicking is planning on starting “Breakfast with the Chief,” an initiative to allow for open conversation between students and the Public Safety Department. There, he wants to hear student concerns and help resolve them. He would like for no topic to be left off the table.
“I want the campus to know that myself and my department [are] here to provide service to the campus and keep them safe. I take the responsibility very seriously,” Bicking said.
Outside of Eastern, Bicking spends his time fishing, hunting, and going on Disney trips with his family. Eastern welcomes you, Mr.Bicking!