Residence Hall Security, or Housing Security, was started in 1990. The purpose was to provide the University with added safety and security for the students and property within the female residence halls during the late evening/early morning hours; from 2230 to 0630 hours. Over the years this mission has held true; however, numerous modifications and adaptations have been made so we can better serve the Villanova community. As the University has expanded its residency program we have included co-ed and freshman male halls as part of our coverage, and in the past we have staffed anywhere from 9 to 14 residence halls. The department works closely with the Office for Residence Life to determine the number and type of halls we will be covering each academic year.
Housing Security's primary function is to supplement the card reader access system within the residence halls. The Housing Security Officers are responsible for verifying each identification card, ensuring the following: 1. The I.D. card is a picture I.D., 2. The I.D. card legitimately belongs to the person presenting the card, 3. Nobody is trying to enter the building unidentified or using someone else's I.D., and 4. Visitors and guests are signed in properly. Other duties include ensuring each residence hall is secured on a nightly basis, checking for vandalism or maintenance problems, assisting sick/injured individuals, assisting during fire alarms and/or evacuations, and being the initial point of contact for anyone who needs assistance or would like to report an incident. The purpose behind these duties is to ensure each Villanova resident student is safe and secure within their residence hall.
The Housing Unit is part of the Department of Public Safety and is presently comprised of one Lieutenant, one Sergeant, 14 full time officers and 3 part time officers. Housing Security has traditionally been an entry level position within the department, and serves as a catalyst for promotion into the patrol unit. Past members of the Housing Unit now hold positions as Lieutenant, Sergeant, Corporal's, Patrol Officer II's and Patrol Officer I's. Other members have gone on to work for municipal, state and federal law enforcement agencies as well.
Current members come from unique backgrounds and have varying levels of experience; however, as a department we require officers to possess at least one of the following minimum qualifications: at least one year of experience within a security field, preferably university or college related; one year of college course work within security or criminal justice, or Act 120 certification (Municipal Police Officers Training Academy). Officers themselves may previously have been police officers, corporate security officers, contract security officers, university/college security officers as well as a number of other professions. Additionally, some have completed varying levels of college course work, police/security training and/or CPR, first responder and EMT certifications.
Housing Security's success as a unit rests in its flexibility and adaptation. At one time or another Housing Security Officers have staffed all but two residence halls on campus. The unit has almost ten years of service with the University, and everyone associated with the unit looks forward to serving the students and University for many more.