Story by Jonah Chickering, Reporter
Photos courtesy of Jonah Chickering
The Aquinas College Campus Safety department will celebrate their 40th Anniversary this fall. Kevin Kwiatkowski, current director of the department, explained that Campus Safety has changed a lot over the forty years that it has been operating.
When asked about how the campus was protected before Campus Safety became a department, Kwiatkowski said that the campus was protected by a private security firm and only employed one security officer of its own. The current Campus Safety Department employs many students as well as professionals.
Kwiatkowski also explained that Aquinas has seen rapid changes since 1979. This has greatly impacted Campus Safety as a department. He stated, “The largest change was the addition of over 35 new buildings which has increased the number of patrol activities for the department.” On top of that the student body has doubled since 1979. This meant that the department needed to adapt to the changing times.
The department adapted by implementing technologies like the camera system, door access system and the mass notification system. Additionally, the department began using trained student workers as campus safety officers.
When asked what changes the department is looking forward to in future, Kwiatkowski stated, “The most significant change would be a transition from a Campus Safety to a Campus Police Force which would involve a full time professional force and minimal use of student employees.” He also explained that emerging technologies like security camera face analytics will increase security in the future.
Campus Safety will continue to adapt as a department at Aquinas College. But for now, it is being celebrated for the protection it has granted the student body for 40 years. Employees like Lt. Frank Courntey, who has worked in the department since 1989, have dedicated their working lives to the protection of the student body.
To celebrate the anniversary, the Campus Safety department is planning to conduct a 40th anniversary luncheon during homecoming weekend and will invite over 450 current and former employees back for a reunion. Kwiatkowski said, “Of special note would be the accomplishments of many of the Campus Safety alumni which include Federal Officers, members of the Armed Services and business owners.”