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 is comprised of a director, two associate directors, two sergeants, two corporals, and seven full-time and three part-time patrol officers. All full-time patrol officers undergo a thorough background check, psychological screening, and physical examination. Patrol supervisors are sworn in as Special Police Officers after completing a recognized Pennsylvania State Police Training Academy course for Municipal Police Officers. These officers may exercise full police powers, including authority to arrest on Swarthmore College property. This law enforcement authority is granted by the Court of Common Please of Delaware County.

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.


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.