Villanova University’s Department of Public Safety has introduced a new vehicle to its fleet – the Mobile Treat Unit (MTU). This rehabilitated ice cream truck will be used to help the Department of Public Safety engage with Villanova students, faculty and staff. University police and public safety officers will be handing out free ice cream novelties on random occasions throughout the campus. The truck will make its debut at the Department’s annual Campus Safety Awareness Day this Thursday, September 14 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Connelly Center.
Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police David Tedjeske says the idea is to create opportunities for officers and the community to get to know one another and interact in a positive way: “We depend on the campus community to work with us as partners in keeping the campus safe,” said Tedjeske. “These small one-on-one interactions help develop rapport and trust. We obviously want our students to feel comfortable coming to us with a safety concern or to report a crime. We can’t help if we don’t know.”
The ice cream truck is just one way the Department of Public Safety reaches out to the campus community. Community relations has been a top priority for Tedjeske, who has implemented several community programs. One such program, “Dinner and Dialogue,” gives officers and students the opportunity to meet regularly over dinner to discuss relevant topics.
“The idea behind the dinners was originally to give information to students about what we do,” said Tedjeske. “We quickly found out that students were more interested in ‘who we were’ as individuals. As relationships develop, so do opportunities.”