Public Safety hired Officer Nichole McNeil and Officer Christine Verdolino, making them the only female Public Safety Officers in uniform within the campus.
An officer at Wheaton College plays both a vital role both as an officer and an educator. They regulate student behavior, enforce the law on a State and Federal level, and conduct community service for the students and guests on campus. They also participate in community activities and thoughtfully resolve on campus problems. Whether this is on or off duty, students may see Officers participating in on-campus activities they may not expect.
Director of Public Safety Chris Santiago said that there are several requirements to become a Public Safety Officer. For example, one is required to undergo training at a police academy or have a baccalaureate degree. However, if someone does not meet these requirements, Santiago would provide the training for them.
Officer Santiago has shown great excitement towards our two new female public Officers. Out of all of the applications that the office received, Officer McNeil and Verdolino were the two best candidates for the Public Safety Officer role on our campus. They are both young and talented, and with these traits, they will be able to relate to student and bring new perspectives to the campus.
Officer McNeil chose to work at Wheaton College because of the close and welcoming community. The faculty, students and Public Safety staff were very supportive of her decision. Officer McNeil applied to Wheaton so that she could advise students to make better decisions, and encourage students to be respectful to fellow students and the surrounding community.
Officer McNeil said she wants to ensure that students feel comfortable interacting with Public Safety. “The members of Public Safety are resources that students at Wheaton College can use to help them. Know that they are there to help you with your problems,” says McNeil.
Officer Verdolino, much like her coworker, is committed to keeping the Wheaton community healthy and safe. Coming from a similar college, Officer Verdolino quickly recognized Wheaton’s friendly and inviting community. Getting to know the students is an important element to the job. When she was in college, she was inspired by a Public Safety Officer, encouraging her to pursue this career. She said, “When we go into college, there are a lot of things that hit you. It’s not weak to say that you might need help. There are resources available. We are one of them.”
Officer McNeil’s and Verdolino’s goals as Public Safety Officers, is to positively influence members of the Wheaton College community. They are eager to learn from our community.