The State of the University

Reports of the President

Dr. Rodin: Over the past year, I have said repeatedly that no one can expect faculty, students, or staff to do their best work if they are afraid for their own physical safety. Starting shortly after my arrival, we have been taking significant steps to enhance that safety. Among the most important steps in this area has been the recruitment to Penn of one of the most outstanding leaders in law enforcement to be found anywhere, Tom Seamon, Penn's new Managing Director of Public Safety. Because of the overriding influence of safety and security concerns on the University's ability to achieve its academic and institutional goals, I have asked Mr. Seamon to report to us this afternoon on his appraisal of our security situation and his approach to issues of campus policing and safety.

Safety and Security: Community Policing and the Campus

by Thomas M. Seamon, Managing Director of Public Safety

First, I would like to thank Dr. Rodin for this opportunity to address the University Council. Very briefly I would like to give you my thoughts regarding my philosophy of public safety and some practical considerations of policing this campus.

Penn has made great strides in the last few years in insuring that the campus is as safe and secure as possible. An increased security guard force, expansion of the blue light phone system, the creation of community walks, bicycle patrols, an expanded transportation system, and emphasis on a substantial crime prevention and victim support apparatus are just some of the improvements that have been made. I will support and continue to build on these and other initiatives, and I'll speak about systems and implementation in a minute. First, I would like to say a few words about my philosophy of policing this campus.

I whole heartedly subscribe to the philosophy of community policing utilizing a problem-solving orientation to join the public police and private security in a synergy to provide the highest possible level of safety and security to the campus community.

Now, what do I mean when I say "community policing"? I mean the police must adopt a service orientation regarding everyone who lives, works, and visits the campus and its surrounding neighborhoods, and they must treat all of these people as their valued customers. Recognizing that police resources are finite and yet the demand for service is infinite, the police must enter into a partnership with the campus community to prioritize the use of these resources.

The University of Pennsylvania Police Department must subscribe to the highest standards of professionalism. It must work in unison with the private security initiatives and technology being introduced on campus. It must maximize the cooperative relationship with the Philadelphia Police Department; and it must be regarded as a force for good that benefits, not only the campus, but also the larger West Philadelphia community.

The challenge of providing public safety through strong law enforcement coupled with the latest security technology must be met while still insuring the campus remains an open and vital community committed to the ideal of free expression. Security technology and staffing must be as unobtrusive and user-friendly as possible.

I believe I can achieve the goals dictated by this philosophy of policing by implementing the following:

In closing let me say I know I have outlined an ambitious agenda, but one I think is necessary and is well within the grasp of the University. I truly believe the University Police possess the potential to be a model for police around the country, and the envisioned public safety system for Penn can set national standards. It is this belief that brought me to Penn.

(To next page of reports.)


Tuesday, November 14, 1995
Volume 42 Number 12

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