By Sarah Sterzinger
Senate chairs of Public Safety, John Overfield and Christina Kolbmann, announced that Public Safety will be welcoming new officers to their force in the upcoming weeks. Wil Johnson, head of Public Safety, talked with the Griffin about the new hires.
“Public Safety has been interviewing individuals for the position of Public Safety Officer due to vacancies that have occurred for a variety of reasons,” Johnson said.
One of these vacancies was caused by the widely-loved Officer Summers, who recently welcomed a new son named Elliot. She is still employed with Canisius College; however, she is taking some time to be with her new baby. Officer Summers, along with some others, are the reason for Public Safety’s reactive hiring process.
Public Safety is currently the only college police department that has been operating without a deputy in the WNY area. The deputy position was dropped in order to save money in Public Safety’s funding. While Johnson has made requests since 2013 stressing the position’s importance, he has been denied due to budget constraints. This hiring process is ultimately being guided by an adjustment in the budgets. It is unclear whether we will finally be getting a deputy to help Officer Johnson.
Johnson assures the Canisius student body, however, that while they are in the hiring process, their response times are not being affected.
“Campus coverage and response times have been maintained due to current officers working additional shifts,” said Johnson.
Officer Johnson was not able to comment on how long this process would take, nor on whether or not new officers had been hired as of the publication of this article. Overfield and Kolbmann hope students will extend a friendly Canisius greeting to any new officers they see around campus in the upcoming days.