Campus Safety Advisory Committee
Annual Report – Academic Year 2020-2021
Meeting Dates: 11/05/2020, 12/10/2020, 1/21/2021, 4/01/2021 and 5/20/21
- Chief Daniel Daugherty
- Coryn Voels
- Dr. Jill Bandura
- Dr. Eddie Davis
- Dr. Jeanne Radigan
- Dr. David Vitt
- Dr. Brian Kelly
- LaShonda Boggan
- Darrien Hunt - student
- Derrick Lang - student
- Alyssa Sirico - student
- Julia Cheney - student
Guest Presenters: Dr. John Nader, President of Farmingdale State College (12/10/2020 mtg)
Greg O’Connor, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (5/20/2021 mtg)
This year’s Campus Safety Advisory Committee (CSAC) was very busy and dealt with many topics. In fact, the committee was engaged in promoting change for the campus even before its first meeting. Prior to the first meeting, President Nader, Chief Daugherty and Darrien Hunt were engaged in ongoing discussions with regards to student concerns and specifically, concerns expressed by students of color. Darrien, a senior at FSC and the President of the FSC Chapter of the NAACP, proposed additions to the role and mission of the CSAC. Both Chief Daugherty and President Nader agreed that these enhancements would be beneficial to the campus community.
Expansion of the role and mission of the CSAC
At the first meeting of the year, the committee members were all in favor of the proposed changes to its mission statement and expanded roles. After a period of discussion and submissions from each member, the committee agreed to the following mission statement:
The mission of the Campus Safety Advisory Committee is to ensure Farmingdale State College embodies a safe and secure learning environment for all students, faculty and staff members. The committee’s focus is on educating the campus community about policies and procedures of the University Police, personal safety, crime prevention, and sexual assault. Additionally, this committee will review policies and encourage activities that will enhance the nature of the relationship between University Police and the FSC campus community, and to encourage inclusivity.
Specific functions of the Campus Safety Advisory Committee are, but are not limited to:
- Committee members will serve as the contact point for safety concerns and will work with Farmingdale State College Administration to address concerns and identify corrective measures needed to minimize safety hazards.
- The committee will improve policies and practices affecting members of the community who are victims of criminal acts taking place on or near campus.
- On an annual basis, the CSAC reports recommendations for improving the safety and security of all members of the community to the President or their designee, and the Chief of the University Police in a comprehensive written report.
- Addressing communication and education efforts between the UPD and the campus community and discussing ways to enhance communication, education and transparency.
- The committee will discuss areas of improvement within the police department.
The CSAC as an advisory group to the University Police Department
Dr. Nader and the committee members agreed that the CSAC could be utilized to promote discussion and offer recommendations to the Chief of Police on matters affecting the interaction between the Police Department and the campus community it serves. Specific policies and campus interactions could be discussed and valuable feedback could be provided by the committee members who represent the various components of the campus community.
Discussions were had throughout the year about issues of Police Officer hiring and the role that the NY State Civil Service exam plays in the availability of a diverse pool of individuals to select qualified candidates from. Chief Daugherty informed the committee that a meeting was held with Teri Miller, Sr. Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity Officer, and most of the SUNY Chiefs on Tuesday, November 10th in which the topic of diversity hiring was discussed and strategies were developed to deal with the issue on a statewide level. Going forward, Chief Daugherty would provide an update to the committee when new officers are hired, as well as the status of diversity within the police department. With its latest hires, the University Police Department was pleased to bring in a very diverse group of officers.
A review of the department’s “Use of Force Policy” was also conducted and remains available on the home page of UPD’s website. Chief Daugherty provided information to the committee about how the University Police Department maintains and updates its policies and procedures, including the Use of Force Policy. The department utilizes a web-based computer program called Lexipol. This program securely houses all of the department’s policies and provides a mobile app to all of its sworn members that can easily be accessed at anytime should they have a question or a need to verify aspects of a specific department policy. The program also creates “Daily Training Bulletins” which quiz Officers on department policies and current trends in law enforcement. Each officer must complete these bulletins by the end of each month.
February 2, 2021 “Snow Plow” Incident
At the April 1st meeting, Chief Daugherty informed the Committee that an incident had taken place on February 2nd, 2021 during a significant snowstorm. Physical plant was on location at Aerospace using various equipment to clear snow from the tarmac. One of the machines being used, a payloader, made a left turn and hit the tail wing of an FSC plane causing over $100k worth of damage. No injuries were sustained, however, the number of individuals, on foot, in and around the area being cleared by large machinery and vehicles with plows attached, presented a hazardous situation. The Campus Administration approached the Chief to look into the matter further. It was also suggested that the incident be brought to the campus safety advisory committee to see if there were any recommendations that could be brought to the FSC administration to prevent this incident from
happening again in the future. The Chief stated that he went through all of the available video footage regarding the incident, and it appeared as if the payloader had turned left to avoid another plane on its right which was being moved forward by Aerospace personnel.
Executive Vice President Greg O’Connor was invited to the subsequent meeting on May 20, 2021 to discuss the actions that were being taken to prevent this from happening in the future. VP O’Connor stated that a new Snow Removal Policy has been drafted and was being reviewed by all of the necessary departments such as the Physical Plant, Aviation, University Police and others. Specifically, this policy would provide solutions to address safety concerns such as; not permitting any employees to be out on the tarmac, on foot, while snow removal vehicles are present; the wearing of highly visible reflective vests; the use of two-way radios for communication between all individuals involved in the snow removal process and increased training for heavy equipment operators.
The committee felt these were adequate steps to address the concerns and Chief Daugherty will disseminate the policy to the CSAC members for their review once it has been completed.
Other items addressed
Enhancements to the department’s web page were discussed, and recommendations were given, to provide the campus community with an opportunity to file a complaint or a compliment about an officer online and to provide resources to victims of hate crimes or racial discrimination. The following changes were made to the webpage and were approved by the CSAC:
- New “buttons” on UPD’s homepage
- These help users navigate through the site and make it easier for people to get information
- It allows space to create a Campus Safety Advisory Committee tab on the right of the page which stands alone
- “Resources for Crime Victims” button
- Addresses on-campus and off-campus resources
- Includes info for victims of racial discrimination as well as for victims of hate or bias crimes
- Also gives info for victims of sexual assault
- All of these sections have the ability to add resources in the future as well
- “Officer Feedback” Button
- Provides instructions for filing a complaint or sending a compliment about one of UPD’s officers
- Has a form available for someone to file a complaint or a compliment about an officer anonymously.
- The CSAC tab now includes a link to see the minutes from CSAC meetings.
Of course, throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, COVID and its necessary safety measures, were discussed as well. The new Cannabis laws passed by the NY State legislature, and the impact they might have on campus, were discussed as well.
The transformation that this committee undertook and the exchange of concerns, which resulted in the subsequent formation of viable solutions, were integral to the overall safety of the campus community for this year as well as for many years to come. The committee’s discussions and actions were extremely constructive and the results detailed in this report, as well as their follow-up, will go a long way to providing for a safe and secure environment at Farmingdale State College.