Starting in December, Deputy Director of Public Safety Mark Fischer will take over as director of Public Safety, replacing Walter Mauldin, who has served in the position for 33 years. Fischer joined the UR taskforce in 2011 after spending 28 years with the New York State Police.
“The biggest priority is to continue the transition to a peace officer agency. We’ve gone from a security-type division […] and we’re moving to the point where about half of those officers will be sworn peace officers,” Fischer said. “It’s a continuation of learning and growing into the law enforcement role we’ve take on here.”
Over his three-decade tenure at UR, Mauldin helped spearhead major developments in campus security, including this year’s introduction of a peacekeeping force.
“I think one of the core things that has not changed but has evolved is the notion that the security role is first to serve, then to protect,” Mauldin. said. “[Security] is seen as a part of quality of life on campus, not simply as something that’s there when you need them.”
Public Safety is dedicated to protecting all University property, and over the years, Mauldin has seen a significant shift in terms of resource prioritization.
“The complexity of the community and the services at the University as it continues to grow. The health care services are a bigger part. Strong has become the focal point for pretty much everything that happens,” said Mauldin.
The growth of the student body has seen an increase in the number of students living off-campus. Accompanying this growth is an increased concern for student safety in adjoining neighborhoods.
“I think off-campus living is a big issue,” Fischer said. “I think there’s a concern with alcohol related issues and the off-campus partying and relationships with the neighborhood.”
Fischer said the department is constantly working on “what we can do better, what the needs are, and working on those priorities within.”
Smith is a member of
the class of 2014.