Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Day in the Life of Public Safety: Faces and Symbols Photo Essay

Meet Bob Wachowski. He's the director of Public Safety at DePaul, and he "doesn't like smiling in pictures." He's holding a Safety on Campus bulletin from October 2008. Normally, his office is cluttered with orange and yellow safety-alert flyers, detailing crimes on campus and giving students and faculty suspect descriptions, so they know who to watch out for. "We haven't had to use a single flyer like that in 2009," said Wachowski. "I hope we keep it that way. That'll be a good year."

This picture (above) is of Jim Marino, DePaul's assistant director of emergency management. He'd know what to do in a second if we had a major emergency, like a fire or school shooting on campus. He used to work in the counter terrorism unit of the Chicago Police department, so he knows his stuff. That black-and-white picture on the righthand side of this shot is Marino's basketball team photo. He played for DePaul in the 1970s, and his team is the only team shot without Coach Ray Meyer in it. "He said we were practicing lousy that day, and refused to pose with us," said Marino.

Officer Marino at work. He's in the Public Safety Command Center on the Lincoln Park campus, located in Room 304 of Centennial Hall, 2345 N. Sheffield. This command center is where everything happens - calls from students and faculty come in, officers are dispatched, walkie-talkie reports are recorded, and that bevy of screens on the wall? - They show every angle of DePaul's campus via security camera, so the Public Safety officers know what's going on, where, and when, and can get there right away if needed in an emergency. The Loop has a center just like this one, and can report back to Lincoln Park's center at any time. The Chicago Police department is also clued in at this center - they can receive and input reports, so that all of DePaul is as safe as possible.

Remember those blue emergency lights we were told about at orientation? Here's one, live and in color, outside of the Richardson Library on the Lincoln Park campus. If something occurs and a student or faculty member pushes the red button on the light, the blue light lights up and Public Safety is immediately notified. There's a speaker in the light as well (about halfway down the photo,) where people can tell Public Safety where they are and what's happening. There are about 30 of these lights around the Lincoln Park campus.

This is probably the most easily recognized form of Public Safety for many DePaul students - the Public Safety patrol car. Used to get from class to your dorm in frigid temperatures, or called to pick you up from a party after a particularly intoxicated night, Public Safety patrol cars can sometimes be a student's best friend. The department owns six cars like this one. In Autumn
Quarter 2008, these cars picked up students an average of 60 times a night. For winter, it was almost 200 times a night!

1 comment:

  1. Laura, I like this photo essay. You've got a lot of tidbits loaded into the captions - it ended up being very informative.

    And that Command Center looks pretty sweet. haha