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About Public Safety

About Public Safety

Swarthmore's Public Safety Department operates 24/7/365 and is fully committed to providing a safe and healthy campus for the entire community. Uniformed officers patrol buildings and grounds, respond to emergencies, educate the community about crime prevention, and provide individual safety escorts upon request. Public Safety also offers self defense classes for women for PE credit and regularly meets with RAs to discuss safety and crime prevention issues.

Public Safety is located in Benjamin West House and serves as the visitor center and central phone operator for the College. 

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.