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About Public Safety

About Public Safety

Swarthmore College's Department of Public Safety operates 24/7/365 and is fully committed to supporting a safe and healthy campus environment. Our team members monitor buildings and grounds, respond to emergencies, educate the community on crime prevention, run a campus shuttle, and provide individual safety escorts upon request. Our Community Resource Officer program partners officers with every residence hall and academic and administrative building to foster trust and stronger relationships with students, faculty, and staff members.

Public Safety offers a variety of programs, including safety awareness, First Aid/CPR, STOP the Bleed, and self-defense classes for credit, and hosts regular safety break sessions, during which our team members share educational information on specific topics. Our team also regularly meets with on- and off-campus community members to discuss safety and crime prevention.

Public Safety is located in the historic Benjamin West House, which serves as the College's Visitor Center, and serves as the central phone operator for campus. Learn more about our team and our programs in our Building a Safe Campus [PDF] brochure. 

Background and Training

Our management team consists of our director, two associate directors, two managers/lieutenants, and an assistant to the director/office manager.  

Each community resource officer undergoes a background check, psychological screening, and physical examination. Our Community Resource Officers receive regular training in a number of areas, including: de-escalation techniques, Mental Health First Aid, implicit bias, gender identity, and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Current certifications in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, obstructed airway, standard first aid, and automatic external defibrillators are required of all officers, and several have advanced medical certifications. Training and certifications also include APCO, ASIS Private Security Officer Course, PA Act 235, and PA Act 120.


Local jurisdiction is shared with Swarthmore Borough Police Department, with whom a close working relationship is maintained, as outlined in a memorandum of understanding. 

Pennsylvania State Police and/or the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Unit assists Swarthmore Borough Police in most serious campus investigations, and Public Safety typically plays a supportive role in these instances. Public Safety is also often involved if a Swarthmore College student is involved in an off-campus offense. 

Public Safety supports personal and organizational accountability by community members to abide by the rules and regulations of the College, the Borough of Swarthmore, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Swarthmore College is considered private property and trespassers will be escorted off campus.