Fordham’s Office of Public Safety will be recognized as one of the 10 best campus security departments in the nation at the National Campus Safety Summit, to be held in Las Vegas this coming February.

The Safety Summit ranked Fordham seventh out of more than 4,000 universities for having increased the safety and security on campus.

“Fordham University increases the safety of its students, faculty, staff, and university community by employing highly trained NYPD officers along with the latest in law enforcement technology and best practices,” said Linda Shaw, director of Safe Campus, a national organization dedicated to improving the safety of U.S. colleges and universities.

Although the citation encompasses only the past year, John Carroll, director of Public Safety, said that most of the office’s improvements took years to develop, particularly the experience of the Fordham security staff and upgrades in technology.

“Our quality personnel and some of the technological innovations, including the creation of our own Fordham Safety App, are the kinds of things that went into the citation,” said Carroll.

Carroll said that many of the personnel were once ranking officers at a variety of state and federal law enforcement agencies—most with an average of 25 years of experience behind them.

“They’ve been in the streets and have seen all sorts of all situations,” he said. “Those skills have now been brought to assist the students, faculty, and staff.”

The new security app was developed specifically for the University. It allows users to be a “tap away” from calling or texting security during an emergency by simply by using an “Urgent Assistance” button. It also includes predefined texts, such as “I am being followed.” The message goes instantly to Public Safety along with the user’s approximate location.

Carroll said that the supervisors in the department continually upgrade their skills by training in fire safety, first aid, and instruction in Title IX. He added that department coordinates with four other private universities to maintain a direct line of contact with the New York City Emergency Management Department, in the event of a wider developing crisis.

“We have someone there to keep us personally informed with accurate information—not rumors,” said Carroll.

The recent initiatives took detailed planning to establish, he said.

“They’re all in place now, but it takes years to get the right people, the right technology, and best practices.”


Tom Stoelker is senior staff writer and visual media coordinator for Fordham News. After fifteen years as a freelance designer, Tom shifted his focus to writing and photography. He graduated from Lehman College, CUNY where he majored in English literature and photography and he received his master's in journalism from Columbia University. His work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Wall Street Journal, and The Architect's Newspaper, where he was associate editor.