The scope of the chief of police position at Pennsylvania College of Technology has been expanded to include additional responsibilities as director of campus safety.
Effective July 1, Chief Chris Miller - who oversees a force of 15 police officers, three property protection officers, six residence hall security officers and three support staff - began functioning in his new role, which focuses on preparing plans and guidelines for disasters and crisis situations; providing disaster and crisis-preparedness training to faculty, staff and students; and planning and directing disaster-response and crisis-management activities.
Miller coordinates campuswide training efforts, which recently included a mock "active shooter" scenario, a campus lockdown exercise and tabletop exercises dealing with communications during various crisis situations.
The Penn College Police department is the second-largest in Lycoming County, actively patrolling all of the college's campuses, as well as a 500-yard radius surrounding those locations.
In addition, Penn College Police officers collaborate with local departments (predominantly the Williamsport Bureau of Police) and with efforts such as the Williamsport Police Tactical Response Team, the U.S. Marshal's Office Fugitive Task Force and the Lycoming County DUI Task Force. Penn College Police also work at major events like Penn State football games, Bryce Jordan Center events, local parades and the Little League World Series.
"Penn College Police's mission of ensuring the health, safety and welfare of the student body, faculty and staff - as well as visitors to campus - creates a unique environment for law enforcement," said Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer. "They are incredible law enforcement professionals, but they are also educators in our environment. Chief Miller's leadership has continued to develop our department into an incredibly strong campus presence.
"With the ever-increasing focus of campus safety, especially since the Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007, Chris has grown and developed his role and responsibility in emergency and crisis operations. This new title is reflective of his increased role at Penn College."
"Although I still maintain my position as police chief, I look forward to the challenges of my new role as director of campus safety," Miller said. "With my expanded job responsibilities, I'll be able to focus more on enhancing the emergency preparedness of our campus and developing additional safety initiatives for students and staff."
For more about Penn College Police, visit www.pct.edu/police.