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Saint Mary’s Campus Safety rebrands, hires new officers

| Monday, August 31, 2020

In the past year, the Saint Mary’s Campus Safety department has undergone a series of changes, hiring new staff members and kickstarting initiatives.

Under the coordination of director Phil Bambenek, four new staff members have been hired. Each member will provide a valuable role in serving the Saint Mary’s community, he said.

Bambenek said in an email that one of his new employees, Elizabeth Brownbridge, who was formerly employed at a 911 dispatch center, now serves as an afternoon shift officer. James Kovach has extensive community correction experience.

Kevin Slaughter, a lieutenant in the police department for Beacon Hospital, will also serve as a valuable member of the Saint Mary’s Campus Security team, Bambenek said.

“He has brought in health care experience into the current situation,” Bambenek said.

Along with changes in staff, Bambenek also said they have been rebranding Saint Mary’s security.

“In the past year, we have certainly been undergoing a bit of an evolution in terms of who we are and services that we are going to provide to the community,” he said. “It started with a rebranding … where we went from Saint Mary’s Security to the Department of Saint Mary’s Campus Safety.” 

Bambenek explained the reasoning behind this decision.

“The thinking behind this evolution was to better identify to the campus community with what our role is here,” he said. “When you think of security, I think people think of the night watchmen, or someone who just goes around and locks doors.”

Bambenek wants students to see security differently and understand the variety of roles they take on.

“We provide a wider variety of services than that, hence, the rebranding,“ Bambenek said. “Our officers engage in a lot more outreach with the community. We have officers that help provide things such as self-defense training. We provide automobile assistance to folks, lock outs, escorts, assistance with ID badges and services that occur outside normal business hours.”

In addition, Bambenek said Campus Safety will be introducing a new program called Belles-Eyes, which will work with Blinkie, Saint Mary’s shuttle service.

“Blinke this year will be augmented by a tracking service which will allow students to see where Blinkie is at any given moment and where it will be next,” he said.

This program will be active within the next few weeks, and the vehicle will be sanitized with an electrostatic cleaning device out of COVID-19 concerns.

“We are limiting riders to no more than 10 passengers,” Bambenek said. “We plan to make three trips an hour to the Grotto to help keep the total number of riders and wait times low.”

Bambenek emphasized that Campus Safety is always ready to serve the community.

“Our phone number is the one number that is answered twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week,” he said. 

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