Public Safety Expands with Campus



FCLC’s campus expanded by 60 percent square footage and subsequently changed security programs. (Sarah Howard/The Observer)

Security has adapted with Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s (FCLC), expanding with the opening of the new Law School building, McKeon Residence Hall and the Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center (GSBLC).

According to John Carroll, associate vice president for Public Safety, this expansion has only brought a small addition of security guards on campus due to the relocation of guards from the now closed Benjamin A. Javits Law School building.

“The guards that we had, both at the desk and patrol positions at the old law school, were moved to the new law school. Then we still had to add another post up at the Plaza, so there was an addition of one. It was a redistribution plus a small addition,” Carroll said.

Existing safety procedures have only been enhanced, including the full implementation of technology. Radio frequency identification cards (RFID) scanners have been placed at every entrance on campus, including in the McKeon dining hall, so students can swipe in and out more conveniently, according to Carroll. 

The use of technology allows for cost saving, compared to the higher cost of guards. “We want to make the students safe and comfortable and at the same time, save money or not spend money that we don’t have to,” Carroll said.

With a higher population on the FCLC campus, the position of Director of Security and Safety at FCLC was created. “There was always an associate director that reported to me, but that associate director also doubled as a daytime supervisor which didn’t allow the guy to do all the tasks that I needed him to do,” Carroll said. 

Robert Dineen, who was the assistant operations manager, has been promoted to director, and now has oversight over “the fire safety piece of the operations, the environmental health piece of the operation, and the emergency management piece of the operation,” Carroll said.  

In addition to the creation of the director position, the numbers of duty supervisors were doubled, from five to ten, according to Carroll. Duty supervisors are former NYPD law enforcement officers who oversee security personnel.  

Modifications in security procedures come at a time of change within the department. Formerly known as Safety and Security, the department is now called Public Safety, which is more in line with the department’s purpose, according to Carroll. “The departments mission, frankly, has been changing in an evolving way in the last ten years. We have been taking on more and more responsibilities,” Carroll said. 

The department is not only concerned with the security and safety of students, but also manages fire safety on campus. “The guards assigned to these front desks are now qualified to be deputy fire safety directors,” Carroll said.

To be qualified as a fire safety director, guards must complete courses, exams, and be knowledgeable about facilities. 

“More than just moving and adding numbers, we’ve added quality,” Carroll said in regards to the security force.

“Fordham University is growing at Lincoln Center, and we’ve increased by 60 percent the square footage, “ Carroll said, “so we’ve had to do some enhancements of our safety programs and security programs. We’ve done it at the same time, trying to maintain a cost effective department. We have a budget like everybody else, and we have to live within that budget.”