About Public Safety

About Public Safety

The Department of Public Safety is responsible for the overall security of Swarthmore's campus and is the first contact and first responder for all campus emergencies. Its charge is to protect persons and property, preserve the peace, deter crime, apprehend criminal offenders, recover lost and stolen property, perform services as required, enforce appropriate College regulations, and maintain a sense of community security and confidence in the department.

Background and Training

The Department of Public Safety is comprised of a Director, an Associate Director of Operations and an Associate Director of Investigations, a Security Systems and Training Administrator, two Sergeants, two Corporals, eight full time and five part-time patrol officers, two full tme and four part-time communications officers. Patrol officers undergo a background check, psychological screening, and physical examination.

 Public Safety officers enforce college policies and regulations. Current certification in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, obstructed airway, standard first aid and automatic external defibrillators is minimally required of all patrol officers. Some officers have advanced medical certifications. Ongoing training is provided for all full time officers. Officers have received a variety of training and certifications, such as ASIS Private Security Officer Course, PA Act 235, and PA Act 120.

 When a Swarthmore College student is involved in an off-campus offense, Public Safety officers may assist with the investigation in cooperation with local, county, state, or federal law enforcement agencies.


Local jurisdiction is shared with Swarthmore Borough Police Department, with whom a close working relationship is maintained. Pennsylvania State Police and/or the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Unit will assist Swarthmore Borough Police in most serious campus investigations. The Department of Public Safety typically plays a supportive role in these instances.

Campus officers also enforce College rules and regulations. Swarthmore College is considered private property and trespassers are escorted off campus or arrested.