Public Safety & U — March 2023 (Faculty and Professional Staff)
Happy Women’s History Month! In this edition, learn how Public Safety has pledged to advance the representation of women on the Drexel Police squad, and read about Officer Kim McClay’s experience as a woman in law enforcement. Plus: tips for enhancing your personal emergency preparedness and staying safe while celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and spring break.
Women’s History Month: Championing Women in Police
DUPD Signs the 30x30 Pledge
The Drexel University Police Department (DUPD) has signed the 30x30 Pledge, a commitment to increase the representation of women in the department to 30 percent by 2030. This initiative represents a coalition of police leaders, researchers and professional organizations joining together to advance the representation and experiences of women in policing agencies across the United States.
Currently, DUPD has two women officers but hopes to increase this number through proactive recruitment strategies and participation in the 30x30 Pledge. Interested in joining the team? Learn more at careers.drexel.edu.
Get to Know Community Relations Officer Kim McClay
Drexel Community Resource Officer Kim McClay has been a police officer for almost 40 years and has been with DUPD for over 11 years.
Q: How long have you been at Drexel, and what is your role/responsibility?
A: I started my career as a Drexel Police Officer on Oct. 31, 2011. I had retired in June 2011 after 28 years in law enforcement in New Jersey. At Drexel, I was initially assigned patrol duties on a squad until I was assigned to my current position of Community Resource Officer (CRO) in early July 2018.
As one of two CROs, some of my responsibilities include educating Drexel stakeholders (faculty, students and staff) about Public Safety resources available to help them stay safe on campus. We do this through meetings and various presentations. Other responsibilities involve tabling at special events on campus, addressing quality of life issues/parking violations, attending weekly/monthly meetings with community groups and other law enforcement agencies to monitor neighborhood concerns and crime trends, enforcing “no parking” signs for events on campus, and acting as Public Safety liaisons with Athletics, student organizations, Greek Life and Residential Living. Very often, I am called upon to take care of Public Safety matters that just don’t fit the traditional role of patrol responsibilities.
Q: What is your favorite part about your job?
A: Getting to know a wide range of people in and around the Drexel community, and building relationships within the University and the surrounding community. It’s rewarding when a student, staff or community member reaches out in a casual way after having had contact through our job as CROs. My fellow CRO and I like the idea of having an opportunity to represent the University in a different and positive way as police officers.
Q: Please share your perspective on how law enforcement has evolved, and your experiences as a woman in law enforcement.
A: Some of the biggest positive changes are technology and accountability. My thoughts are that law enforcement officers are now better trained and equipped to do our jobs effectively and safely. We are now required to attend diverse trainings (i.e. mental health, verbal de-escalation, firearms, hazmat, autism awareness, use of force, etc.). The tools/equipment we are given and trained to use (firearms, less lethal options of force, body worn cameras, etc.) continue to evolve as law enforcement adapts to the challenges. I think officers committed to wanting to be good officers will adapt and embrace these changes.
Very often, actions taken by some law enforcement officers cast a negative light on all officers. It’s refreshing to me when someone on the street or within the Drexel community will thank us for what we do.
I graduated from the Police Academy in New Jersey in July 1984. I spent nine years as a uniform officer on patrol and 17 years as a detective. Throughout the years, being a woman in law enforcement has become almost a non-issue. I’ve always tried to conduct myself in a way that my gender didn’t matter in how effective I could be as a police officer. I firmly believe that promoting a positive image and treating everyone we encounter with respect goes a long way in our being successful as police officers.
Q: What message would you share with the University community?
A: “Safety is a shared responsibility.” We, as a Police Department, cannot alone keep the campus safe. We are most effective in addressing issues when people promptly report any concerns to DUPD.
Q: Please share a fun fact about yourself.
A: I plan to retire from Drexel by the end of 2023. In retirement, I look forward to refining my pickleball and golf games. I love everything about the outdoors, plan to travel, and look forward to having time to just enjoy a good book. Most importantly, I look forward to spending time with my two young granddaughters.
DPS Is Looking for SAFE Instructors
Interested in making a difference? Want to help make our Dragons more prepared? Public Safety is looking for volunteers for its self-protection course, SAFE. DPS is seeking faculty and/or staff assistant instructors of all gender identities, but particularly woman-identifying folks as part of the larger goal for advancing representation of women. Interested parties must be in good physical shape and willing and able to attend a rigorous physical training program. This is not a paid position, so if you enjoy volunteering your time for a good cause, this could be a great opportunity! For more information, please contact Linda Moran at email@example.com. Want to see the class in action before you apply? Check out “Community Commitments” below for upcoming sessions.
How to Prepare Yourself for Emergencies
You can’t plan for everything, but there are many steps you can take in advance to prepare yourself for emergency situations — whether it be an extreme weather event, a natural or man-made disaster, or active shooter incident. Public Safety shares the following information to help you be prepared when emergency strikes.
- Make sure you’re receiving DrexelALERT messages, and keep your contact information up to date in the system. In the event of an emergency at Drexel, Public Safety will notify the community with information and instructions via DrexelALERT text messages, emails and posts on the Public Safety website. At the start of each term, and any time your email address or phone number changes, please confirm your contact information by logging in to DrexelOne, selecting the “Welcome” tab in the main menu bar, and selecting “DrexelALERT” under the “Safety, Security and Support” sidebar.
- Download the free Drexel Guardian app to your smartphone. If you are in an emergency situation, you can use Drexel Guardian to contact the Drexel Public Safety Communications Center, allowing dispatchers to immediately access important information about you, such as your name and location. Search “Rave Guardian” in the Apple App Store for iPhones or Google Play Store for Android phones and register using your Drexel email address.
- Save the Drexel Public Safety phone number — 215.895.2222 — in your phone contacts. You can call that number (or 911, particularly if you are not on the University City campus) to report an emergency and to seek help, including if you become lost or separated.
- Know your campus building’s street address, and check your building evacuation route.
- Familiarize yourself with campus emergency telephone locations.
- Visit the Public Safety website for a list of potential emergency scenarios and familiarize yourself with the tips for what to do when confronted with each of them.
Finally, if you do find yourself in an emergency situation, once you are out of harm’s way, be sure to call or send a message to your family and friends immediately to let them know you are safe. Inform them of your location and contact numbers if you were evacuated. Drexel’s Student Counseling Center (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Employee Assistance Program (888.881.5462) are always available and have many resources to help you cope with difficult experiences.
Remind Your Students About Alcohol Emergencies & the Responsible Dragon Amnesty Program
Please share the following safety information with your students:
Drexel University's primary concerns are the health and safety of its students. The University is aware that students can be reluctant to seek medical attention in alcohol- and drug-related emergencies out of fear they may face sanctions related to possessing or consuming alcohol or other drugs. The Responsible Dragons Amnesty Program (RDAP) provides amnesty from disciplinary action under the alcohol and drug policies for students or student organizations who seek medical assistance during an alcohol- or drug-related emergency. More information on RDAP can be found in the Student Code of Conduct.
Knowing how to recognize and take action during an alcohol-related emergency could save a life. Alcohol depresses nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing, heartbeat and gag reflexes that prevent choking. When someone consumes too much alcohol, these functions will eventually stop. If a person seems fine but has consumed dangerous amounts of alcohol, this individual’s blood alcohol content will continue to rise as the body digests, so it is still important to take action.
If you suspect an alcohol emergency, call 215.895.2222 or 911 right away. Please remember that alcohol emergencies are medical emergencies and need to be addressed immediately. Paramedics and law enforcement are on your side and here to help.
Additional reminders for staying safe:
- Alcohol and sexual activity do not mix; you must give and receive consent no matter how much you or the other party has been drinking.
- Most drugs and alcohol do not mix well; be sure to read warning labels.
- Never drink and drive; make a plan and designate a driver. Don’t let your intoxicated friends get into a cab or car service, such as Uber or Lyft, alone.
Share Some Cookies With Cops on March 15
Join Public Safety on March 15 from 3–5 p.m. at Korman Quad for an afternoon treat and conversation with Drexel Police. In addition to monthly scheduled Cookies with Cops, look for DPS “popping up” around campus and in the community for other fun events.
Have an event or hot spot on campus you’d like DPS to come to? Send your suggestions to Linda Moran, email@example.com!
DPS Educational Programs: Learn How to Protect Yourself
You can request any of the following presentations and trainings by completing the Request a Presentation Form.
- Your Safety Is Our Goal (March 21, at 9 a.m. or 5:30 p.m.): This monthly virtual workshop is a great way to learn how to stay aware of your surroundings and always be prepared, not scared, when moving through the city. You may sign up for one of these events on Qualtrics, or if neither of these times work for your schedule, you can request a session by completing the Request a Presentation Form.
- Self-Awareness for Everyone (SAFE): Public Safety’s self-protection program aims to give Drexel students, faculty and staff the practical skills, resources, and knowledge to increase their personal safety and protect themselves in unsafe situations. This hands-on class lasts approximately 4.5 hours. Upcoming scheduled sessions are March from 5–9:30 p.m. or April 16 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. You can sign up for one of these classes on Qualtrics, but they’re also available by request.
- Fire & Emergency Services, Emergency Preparedness: The Office of Fire and Emergency Services offers tailored, data-driven awareness and training programs, by request, to help the Drexel community reduce the risks of fire. Additional topics covered are medical emergencies, elevator entrapments, power outages, gas leaks, and other common challenges.
- Workplace Safety Program: The Public Safety & U workplace safety program is designed to empower and educate members of the Drexel community and can be customized to address the unique security challenges of your unit and identify solutions.
We Are Here for You When You Need Us
Please call 215.895.2222 immediately if you experience or witness a crime. Drexel’s Public Safety Communications Center is staffed 24/7 to serve you, whether or not you choose to remain anonymous when making a report. It is vital that crimes are reported promptly to Drexel Police so that they can be investigated, and so that Public Safety can connect the victim(s) with proper resources. You can also contact DPS through the Drexel Guardian app. Drexel Guardian will not track you nor share your information unless you initiate an emergency. To download the app, search for “Rave Guardian” in the app store or Google Play store.
215.895.2222 or 911
To learn more about Drexel Public Safety, visit drexel.edu/publicsafety.