Lack of Female Security Supervisors on Campus


Students may choose to report to either male or female supervisors. (Sarah Howard / The Observer)


Students may choose to report to either male or female supervisors. (Sarah Howard / The Observer)
Students may choose to report to either male or female supervisors. (Sarah Howard / The Observer)

The last College Council meeting, on Thursday, Nov. 13, raised concerns about the lack of female security supervisors at Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s (FCLC) campus. Currently, there are eight female security duty supervisors and 43 male security duty supervisors across all campuses. There are 10 male security supervisors and no female supervisors at FCLC.

“Nothing would make me happier,” John Carroll, vice president of Public Safety and Security, said in regards to the request for more female supervisors. 

A big question the council asked was why the hiring pool was limited to the New York Police Department (NYPD). According to the latest official New York City records, 66 percent of the NYPD are male. According to an official NYPD press release in 2012, there were 6,000 female police officers, about 50 were ranked as captain and above.

 But according to Carroll, this is incorrect. The Public Safety and Security hiring committee look to any major law enforcement agency to hire security supervisors, not just the NYPD. “I have guys here from the Department of Corrections, I have guys from Westchester County Police, former New Jersey police officers,” he said. 

So, why are there so few female security supervisors compared to their male counterparts? According to Carroll, duty security supervisors must have held ranking positions within their agencies. “Meaning they have had to have been ‘bosses,’” he said. 

“It’s been my experience, and I’ve been doing this for a long long time, when you get ‘bosses’ they are not adverse to making decisions that involve their subordinate personnel,” Carroll, who was in the NYPD for almost 20 years, said. Carroll believes lower ranking officers or detectives would be more hesitant in making decisions. 

“I have struggled for 10 years now to get [more] females in my ranks,” Carroll said.  “The problem is, women are like a treasure.” He continued, “They are very difficult to find because a lot of times when they retire they don’t take second jobs, whereas a lot of guys do.”

Patricia Upton, deputy emergency manager at Fordham, echoed John Carroll’s sentiments that female ranking officers are hard to find. 

“I know for a fact that on two or three occasions, we have offered positions to a female and for whatever reason, they have declined to join us,” Upton said. “A lot of women who have worked 20, 25 years in law enforcement, when they are ready to retire, most of them have elected not to go on to a second or third career.”

Upton retired from the NYPD as a Commanding Officer Detective Sergeant  in 2002, after 21 years in the force. In addition to her title, Upton serves on the Public Safety and Security hiring committee.

The hiring committee consists of four supervisors: two female (Patricia Upton and Margaret Blakeley, operations manager)  and two male (Dan Kiely, director of Fordham College at Rose Hill [FCRH] security and Robert Fitzer, assistant operations manager). According to Carroll, the committee conducts potential supervisor interviews and are ultimately in charge of the new hires.

At College Council, another question was raised as to why some of the female supervisors could not be placed at FCLC. Carroll explained that each supervisor does 140 tours (12 hour shifts) a year. “God forbid somebody is the victim of sexual assault, I have [the female security supervisors] strategically placed so they are available around the clock so they can respond to a sexual assault victim.”

When reporting a sexual assault to the University, any person has the right to request either a female or male security supervisor.  

“At Rose Hill, [the supervisors] have cars so they can move very easily from campus to campus-probably faster than you can get some of the [Resident Directors] on the 20th floor of McMahon to come downstairs,” Carroll said. 

“I am trying to hire the best and brightest, but the same set of criteria is [used] for either women or men,” Carroll said. “It’s not from a lack of effort. Anyone who says that does not have a clue of what they are talking about.”