Public Safety enforces new standards
Published: Thursday, August 28, 2008
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 17:11
Since fall of last year, Public Safety has been implementing new measures that will change the training of future Public Safety officers, establish an emergency evacuation plan and create a new Public Safety position. Due to these new standards, all MATC campuses will be changing their Public Safety policies.In October, 2007, the MATC board approved a staffing plan that would permit Public Safety to establish the position of Public Safety Specialist. People who apply for a Public Safety Specialist position go through a detailed selection process. They are educated with a total of 60 semester hours and must meet qualifications to become law enforcement officers in the state of Wisconsin.
Those who are qualified to become police officers must go through a training period at the Oak Creek Campus to get the necessary job skills.
Public Safety Specialists will also be involved in a patrol component of Public Safety, one that MATC has never had.
Even the process of becoming a Public Safety Officer has drastically changed. Those who wish to become a Public Safety Officer are required to go through a 15-item physical agility test, a background check, along with a psychological and a written test. Chief Brad Hines of Milwaukee MATC Public Safety said, "All of our standards have been raised 100%. We've changed the standards of Public Safety Officers."
In order to differentiate the Public Safety Officers from the Public Safety Specialists, a two-tier system has been set in place, similar to that of UWM and UW-Madison.
The people in the security division will have different uniforms than the people who are authorized to be police officers. The Public Safety Officers will be wearing a brown uniform, whereas the certified police officers will be wearing a black uniform.
In addition to these new changes, it is possible that in the future Public Safety Specialists could be carrying weapons. However, in order for this to happen some changes must be made. Chief Brad Hines explains, "Before you can become a law enforcement agency in the state of Wisconsin, you need the law changed to authorize your municipality police powers. We don't have that as of yet." When asked about when these changes would take place, Chief Hines replied, "I wish I knew. I don't know how long; we would like to know as soon as possible."
One plan MATC has put into place is an emergency evacuation plan as well as an emergency response guide. Chief Hines said, "We're working on our emergency notification system for the college.
"The purpose of all these changes made by Public Safety is to make every MATC campus a safer campus.
"We're constantly trying to improve the things we're doing to make this a better campus and a safer campus. With the changes that we're making right now, we're moving forward in creating a safer environment for our students, faculty and staff.