Focusing on Community
Stony Brook University police officers do more than patrol campus, they are often among the very first helpful, friendly people students and staff meet when they arrive at Stony Brook. They’re here to help you not only stay safe in your community, but to assist you in succeeding in all aspects of University life.
"Our officers are not only enforcers, but mentors," says Doug Little, Assistant Chief of University Police. One of the roles of SB police involves building a close-knit community with faces that students can trust.
Two of those faces belong to University officers Jeffrey Watson and Vito Colella, who personify the image of the "beat cop" known for their conversational skills and approachability. Both are new to the force and became officers after successful careers in other fields.
Colella notes, "If people are more comfortable with you, they will serve more as your eyes and ears." Every quad on campus will have its own designated officer as its "beat" cop to help further connections with students. "It’s a matter of serving the community, of having a familiar face, and being someone students can trust," Colella adds. As an effort to facilitate more student contact, the University Police Department is encouraging increased foot patrols by all his officers. While the "beat" officers will become a familiar face to students in the residence halls, officers will also be seen regularly walking around the Student Activities Center and Stony Brook Union. Remember, the officers are here to help students with a variety of issues, so don’t be afraid to approach them if you have questions or concerns.
"This is a learning institution filled with people trying to better themselves," reports Watson. "For many students, it’s their first time away from mom and dad. They’re under a lot of added stress from being on their own. Anything we can do to help alleviate that stress, we’re happy to do. We want students to know we are here for them." In addition to their patrols, Watson and Colella also manage a new program on alcohol awareness, where they meet with students in residence halls, giving them tips on how to avoid putting themselves in bad situations.
For more information about the program offered by University Police, visit www.stonybrook.edu/police.
If you have questions about any safety issues, please call (631) 632-6687.