Student Employment: What’s a Campus Safety Assistant?

Calvillo works closely with police officer Brian Duffy and campus safety officer Claire Singleton, and turns to them to report any activity he saw on patrol. Photo by Brent Sumner.

David Calvillo works alongside officer Brian Duffy and Campus Safety Officer Claire Singleton in an attempt to keep Lewis safe.

Brian Neal, Sports Editor

Brent Sumner, Tempo Editor

Summer is officially over, and students are getting into the flow of things at Lewis University. In addition to new classes and studies, student employment is another consideration for Lewis’ young scholars to ponder.

One of the options at LU is being a campus safety assistant, a position in which students have the opportunity to work with the Lewis University Police Department.

David Calvillo, a junior forensic criminal investigation major, began this job only a few weeks ago. With a major in the criminal justice field, he recommends the position to any student who is also majoring in that area. Calvillo applied for the position because of the “field experience” it offers.

“A normal work day would be working in the office making new IDs, logging in lost-and-found items as well as issuing parking permits,” Calvillo said. “During patrol, I walk around campus patrolling the campus buildings and interacting with students and staff.”

He added that interacting with students, faculty and police staff takes place as “normal conversation,” and he doesn’t feel out of place as a member of campus security.

Lilia Ocampo, a junior forensic criminal investigation and criminal justice major, is also a campus safety assistant, and she enjoys working with the police department.

“I really like it,” Ocampo said. “I’m a criminal justice major, so I get a taste of how it is working for the police department. It’s pretty exciting sometimes. Most of the time, though, it’s really calm. I work in the office, doing paperwork and creating parking permits and things like that, so it’s not too bad. I really enjoy it.”

On a normal day, Calvillo and Ocampo can be found assisting police, fire or other public safety agencies in emergency situations, helping with traffic control and using the radio and other telecommunication systems among other duties, according to the job application found on Lewis’ website. Using the radio to call in codes is something that Ocampo is particularly grateful for, as she explained it was something she was unsure about before working with campus security.

The job makes the student employee a “non-sworn member of the police department staff.” So much so, in fact, that students who apply for this opportunity “must be able to work with flexible schedules involving evening, weekend and holiday work,” like official officers.  And again, like actual cops, Chief of Police Jim Montanari believes their role in campus safety is vital.

“For us, it’s a force multiplier,” Montanari said. “It allows us to put people out there who are out extended eyes and ears across campus.”

Montanari also talked about how important that student-to-student or “peer-to-peer” interaction is to campus safety, something the campus safety assistants are a key component of.

“It’s core; it’s foundation,” Montanari said. “Because I think of lot of what goes on, the peer-to-peer interaction between students is the best form of campus safety you can have in terms of student behavior.  I know there’s outside influences that we don’t have control over, things that happen on campus, but I think peer-to-peer as opposed to people getting up at SOAR and other presentations and [other people] lecturing: peer-to-peer is very beneficial to campus security.”

Brian Neal
is a senior in his third year at Lewis University. Neal has a passion for sports, and one day hopes to be a prominent NFL and NBA analyst.

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