Chicago Heights, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Prairie State College (PSC) has formally established its own police department, with President Dr. Eric Radtke recently administering the oath of office to three police officers. Sworn in were Norman Martin, director of campus & public safety and chief of police, and Samuel Pavesich and Al Thompson, police officers.
“The police department provides additional tools to keep the college community safe as well as the officers responding,” said Martin. “In the event of an emergency, the Prairie State College Police can now provide an immediate response and are trained and equipped to handle situations that were previously referred to the Chicago Heights Police Department. Reducing the response time by just a matter of a few minutes can make a significant difference when dealing with critical incidents.”
The new police department will serve the campus as part of the office of Campus & Public Safety. Martin will assume the role of police chief in addition to his current duties as director of campus & public safety.
Board Secretary Jacqueline Agee stated, "This is the culmination of over two years of work by the Board and the administration to establish the PSC Police Department, which included surveying staff and students, developing policy, creating hiring processes, and signing an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Chicago Heights."
Board Chair Mark Fazzini said, "It is important that the campus and community know that the PSC police officers will have the exact same training as any other Illinois municipal police officer."
Before coming to Prairie State College in 2007, Martin retired after 28 years from the Illinois State Police, most recently serving as lieutenant colonel. Pavesich is a retired Chicago Heights police officer of 28 years, and Thompson is a retired sergeant from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Martin, Pavesich, and Thompson met the eligibility requirements for their positions and passed the required physical and psychological exams.
The college will administer an exam to establish an eligibility list to hire additional police officers. By 2011, it is expected the college will have nine police officers.