F&M welcomed William McHale as Director of Public Safety as he took over for Mike Rossano on Sept. 10.
McHale’s daily tasks will include overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Department and officers, meeting with the community, implementing the emergency plan, and keeping the officers up-to-date on their training.
Prior to coming to F&M, McHale worked as a member of the Pennsylvania State Police force. Most recently, he was a major in the Bureau of Emergency and Special Operations.
“Through my 28-plus years with the PA State Police, I have had the opportunity to conduct many complex investigations,” McHale said. “As I progressed through the ranks, I then supervised those investigations and those who conducted them. The PSP trains its personnel very well. As such, I have attended many supervisory schools including the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy.”
His safety background will guarantee that the big picture of overall student wellness will remain a top priority.
However, he believes the College’s department is already in great shape. McHale posits this is due to the level of accreditation the Department of Public Safety (DPS) has. F&M’s department is only one of four higher educational schools that has police department accreditation, the others being Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Lehigh University.
McHale believes this accreditation as well as the extensive training of DPS officers should be publicized. He feels people are unaware that all the officers are well trained under Act 120, which means they have the same training as municipal-level police officers.
“I say this so the F&M community knows they have a well trained and accredited department serving to ensure their safety, as well as those who come onto our campus,” McHale said.
In addition to publicizing the information about the Department and its officers, McHale wants the campus community to feel comfortable reaching out to Public Safety.
“Public Safety is a friend and ally if [students] need help,” McHale said.
An example of the ally attitude is the amnesty policy that McHale strongly supports. He wants students to seek medical attention and help first without immediately worrying about disciplinary action.
Besides McHale’s enthusiasm and pride in the Public Safety realm, the director also feels positively about the college in general.
“Since I assumed my new duties, I have had numerous interactions with all members of the F&M community,” McHale said. “Everyone has been very gracious and have made me feel very welcome.”
McHale first came to F&M when the state police worked out on the campus back in 1984. He would come back to watch football, lacrosse, and field hockey games, and officiate basketball games. So when the director position become available, he took the opportunity.
He has loved engaging with students and walking around campus. The director frequently wanders around the campus and encourages students to say hello.
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