University of St. Thomas Magazine COVID-19 Special Edition

Patrol Sergeant Tyler Vogel is one of the safety officers who patrols campus.

Vogel said he and on-campus colleagues start and end all their shifts at shared workstations and vehicles by wiping down with disinfectants, and everyone can physically maintain social distance within buildings. Staying safe themselves while keeping the community safe are their main concerns. “Social distancing, per se, is less a problembecause so few people are around, but it doesn’t allow us to lower our sense of awareness because we’re walking through sometimes old infrastructure and the door is propped. Was it left open by an officer and it didn’t shut or was it forced ajar by someone who wants to find something insecure and take it?” Barrett said. “[Officers] can’t let their guards down. Their situational awareness needs to be up even more so than before.”

Vogel said officers use N95 masks and gloves when they do have to communicate more closely with someone, such as a suspicious person on campus. “That part of our job doesn’t stop,” he said. “We just have to be careful.” “Care” is a key word for Public Safety officers as they maintain the department’s mission, which is “dedicated to creating and promoting a safe, secure and peaceful environment.” n

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