Public Safety officers have many responsibilities and duties that most students may not know about. They work every day to ensure that the campus is safe for every student and faculty member. They listen to student concerns and requests, and respond to incidents on campus. Because of the Department of Public Safety, located in the Morrissey House next to the library, students and faculty at SNHU can feel a sense of safety and security.
Jim Winn, the executive director of Public Safety, has been working at SNHU for 10 years. He entered the military directly out of high school and then joined the Manchester Police Department.
After retiring from the police department, Winn attended college to get his associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Upon finishing his schooling, he taught at a community college before finding the Public Safety job opening here.
Winn applied and then received the job, and has been happy here ever since. He said that his experiences from the police department have helped him with this job because it helps him to be more empathetic and compassionate toward students. “Showing students empathy and compassion gives me a better ability to gain the trust of students,” Winn said.
There are three different shifts in the Department of Public Safety, and there is one supervisor assigned to each shift. Winn’s job is to oversee the entire department and ensure that everything is running smoothly. Additionally, he oversees the online division of public safety.
Winn does not have a typical work day.
“My workdays vary from day to day due to many different factors,” Winn said. He always starts his day by reading the reports that were made during the previous night. From these reports, he determines which require a follow up action and what this action will be. From there, he assigns people to investigate these cases and take care of any incidents that have occurred. He takes every report seriously and always does his best to respond to the problem in a way that he feels will most effectively solve the problem at hand.
Another major part of Winn’s job is to prepare for events that take place on campus, such as sports games or public speaking events. He, along with the rest of the Public Safety officers, help with traffic flow and crowd control at these major events. For example, last semester, Michelle Obama visited campus.
The help of the Public Safety office was necessary, as this event was open to the public and had a huge turnout. “Sometimes we even need to call for extra police from the Manchester Police Department to come and help with security at events as well,” Winn stated.
In addition to helping with events, Winn and the rest of the Public Safety officers are extremely involved with student affairs. Winn is always in contact with the Office of Residence Life on campus and works closely with the Student Government Association (SGA) as well. SGA has safety committee representatives who are specifically elected to work with Public Safety.
When students voice their concerns or suggestions to SGA, the safety committee then passes this information along to the Department of Public Safety to be dealt with.
Winn has a passion for working with the students on campus and it is one of his favorite parts about his job. He also likes the fact that every work day is different.
“Even though I often deal with the same types of problems, I like being able to work with different students and getting to know them and their different personalities,” Winn said.
He said that it can sometimes be difficult working with students who are in trouble for more serious matters, but that one of the most important things is to treat everybody with the same amount of dignity and fairness.
The Department of Public Safety here at SNHU work hard to ensure that the campus is safe and secure at all times. They listen to student’s concerns, and do whatever they can to better our community in any way possible.