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Public Safety – Behind the badge

Find out about all the services offered by Public Safety

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A lot of students aren’t aware of all the services offered by MATC’s Public Safety department.  “They just look at the uniform and think of them as a security measure, but they’re really so much more than that,” says Director of Student Life Archie Graham.  Ruth Umphrey, who is enrolled in the Cosmetology program at MATC, says her knowledge of public safety is, “I know they patrol the halls and they’re here to keep us safe, but that’s about it.”

Public Safety does much more than just patrol the halls explains Shari Olszewski, coordinator of Emergency Management and Clery Compliance, “Our goal is to create the safest learning and working environment for students and employees.” 

Headed by Aisha Barkow, director of Public Safety, and lieutenants Karina Taylor, Gary Meyer and Randy Pruss, along with 30 officers, Public Safety has many programs and services to carry out that goal.

“First of all secure your stuff,” says Gary Morimoto, interim Public Safety lieutenant. The number one reported crime at MATC is theft, according to Morimoto.  He also explains theft and misplaced property go hand in hand, “A lot of times students just leave their stuff laying around and then it gets snatched up.”  He adds “If you hadn’t left it alone in the first place, it probably wouldn’t have gotten stolen.”

Public Safety has started programs like Operation ID and the Bicycle Registration to help combat theft.  Operation ID allows students to engrave their information on any of their property.  “It’s especially helpful for programs where you are required to purchase expensive materials.  We get a lot of students from the cosmetology and barber department,” says Morimoto.  Bicycle Registration allows students to register their bikes with the Public Safety office so if it gets stolen they know who to call. They also will provide you with a lock if needed.

Public Safety has a tip line for students and faculty to use if they see any suspicious behavior.  Students and faculty can call 414-297-8477.  All tips remain completely anonymous.  Morimoto notes, “For the tip line to be as effective as possible it’s important for callers to be as specific as they can.”

Morimoto encourages students to sign up for Rave alerts. While not provided directly through Public Safety, the Rave alert system is used to let students know about emergency situations such as lockdowns or school closings.  Rave alerts can be sent to students via text, call or email and is a very popular system used by colleges across the country.  “Signing up for Rave alerts is vitally important for students to be 100% informed,” says Morimoto.  Visit the Public Safety website to subscribe to Rave alerts, and use your Blackboard information to log in.

“Students are also encouraged to attend our workshops,” says Olszewski.  Public Safety offers an array of workshops throughout the semester on a variety of topics, including theft prevention, fire safety and more. Student and faculty can register for workshops online through the Public Safety website. The schedule for the workshops is not complete yet, but dates will be added to the MATC calendar throughout the semester.  A list of dates is provided below for all scheduled workshops so far.

Severe weather drills coincide with the Statewide Severe Weather Awareness Week and will be held on the following dates and times:

West Allis Campus – Thursday, April 20,

9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Education Center at Walker’s Square –

Thursday, April 20,

9:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m.

Downtown Milwaukee Campus – Wednesday, April 19, 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Oak Creek Campus – Tuesday, April 18,

9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Mequon Campus –

Monday, April 17,

9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

CERT Training

In an effort to provide MATC students and employees with the information and skills needed to respond to campus emergencies, Public Safety provides training workshops for our Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. Training dates include: 

Downtown Milwaukee Campus – Friday, March 10,

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Oak Creek Campus – Friday, March 10, 1 – 4 p.m.

Mequon Campus – Friday, March 17, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

West Allis Campus – Friday, March 17, 1 – 4 p.m.

Downtown Milwaukee Campus – Friday, March 24,

1 – 4 p.m.

The least known service Public Safety provides is escorting students to their cars if they feel unsafe.  “We’re not going to walk six blocks with you, but we will go to the parking structures or ride the shuttles with you,” says Morimoto.  This service is especially important at the downtown campus because parking areas are further away and classes often run late into the evening.

Graham encourages all students to become familiar with Public Safety, saying, “They have extensive knowledge of services and resources offered by the college.”

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The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College
Public Safety – Behind the badge