One of the primary tasks of the Department of Public Safety and Police Services is patrolling campus. Police officers patrol the residential, academic, athletic, and parking facilities as well as campus and surrounding streets twenty-four hours per day and seven days per week. Officers also perform foot patrol through the buildings and sidewalks on the main campus. This activity is vital to identifying and deterring potential criminal activity and to maintaining a safe and secure campus. All of our officers are certified state of Michigan police officers who have full law enforcement authority throughout Houghton County.
Our Communications Center serves as a link between the community (including visitors and guests) and Michigan Tech, relating to matters of public safety and emergency assistance. The Communications Center is staffed twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week by police dispatchers. Dispatchers are responsible for answering calls for police, fire, emergency medical services (EMS), maintenance and escort services; monitoring fire, intrusion, emergency and maintenance alarms; and dispatching and coordinating police, fire, EMS and student security officer units in both emergency and nonemergency situations.
The Communications Center is also responsible for monitoring and relaying information from the department's Emergency Telephone system, coordinating after-hours access, dealing with inquiries related to maintenance, and other issues that may arise.
Public Safety and Police Services is dedicated to building a strong link between Michigan Tech students, campus officers and law enforcement agents as a whole through the Residential Officer program. The program began in 2012, when an officer had an opportunity to live in the campus residence halls. The program was a great success as it allowed officers to feel a part of the student community and students saw that interactions with the police don’t always have to be negative. The program continued to have a positive impact on student life as well, as there were decreases in student conduct cases along with the overall (already low) crime rate.
Currently, there are two officers that live on campus. These officers truly do become part of the university community as they can often be seen grilling out with the students or staying fit for duty at the residence hall fitness centers. Residential Officers also have a dedicated office space on the ground floor of Wadsworth Hall (G28), where an officer keeps regular office hours for interacting, advising and socializing with the students. In addition to office hours, Residential Officers eat in the dining halls, attend various residence programs, answer questions, play games and spend a lot of time with the students on campus. Our officers have become a part of the student community. The regular presence of law enforcement in the residence halls has positively shifted many perceptions and attitudes about police officers. Perhaps more importantly, it has helped officers focus more on the community and service portion of their jobs.