On the beat with the men and women of Public Safety

Santo Caruso

You swear it was just this once, it wasn’t yours, you were being quiet, you just parked for a few minutes while waiting for a friend. But to no avail. The Public Safety officer has already written you up, confiscated your contraband, or written the ticket and slapped it on your windshield.

It’s not exactly the kind of public relations Erik Regensberg was looking for.

“I left Pottstown looking for a more service-oriented job,” said the former dispatcher for the Pottstown Police. “I wanted to address the problems of a community [hands- on].”

The young officer, despite his baby face, has the air of a law enforcement agent already, has a neat and organized uniform with a group of pens tucked into his top pocket and his pants cuffed to a crease above his Gore-tex boots.

But he didn’t come to Villanova because girls like a man in uniform.

“I didn’t really know a lot about Villanova, just that it had a good law school and good engineers,” said Regensberg, 24. “Its hard to compare this to Pottstown, but both departments have similar goals but handle different areas based on resources and issues.”

Erik Regensberg is one of a large group of new officers around Villanova’s Main Line campus.

Due to expanded shifts (which now cover 10 hours instead of eight) as well as an extended coverage season and increased demand for more resident security for coed dorms, the Public Safety office has begun hiring new officers, a search that is hindered by the strict background checks required to join the non-sworn department.

According to Debra Patch, associate director of Public Safety, they are at full staff now and are just completing background checks on the last batch of candidates.

“Our officers generally like to help people and although students may not see that all the time, I would want a Public Safety [department] looking over my daughter while she was here,” said Hatch, who has worked at Rowan before coming to Villanova.

“Here [at Villanova], people say ‘Hi’ to me, and my relationship with the students and staff makes me want to help them more,” said Regensberg. “This campus has an excellent group of students.”

Regensberg has not, however, had a chance to work nights yet, where, according to Hatch, “most of our action comes. From about 7:00 to about 3:00, the largest amounts of incidents are reported.”

Regensberg, who aspires to be an engineer who works with car crash reconstruction and road development, is excited after his first week and looks forward to accepting more responsibility.

“The first day I wanted to know everything,” said Regensberg, “But the one thing I have learned is that if you have respect for students, staff and faculty you will be noticed as trying to help. It’s not just about enforcing the rules, but enforcing the rules in a respectful manner.”

And yes, he has written six parking tickets already. Welcome to Villanova, Erik.