White cruisers watch the student body night and day to make sure no foreign or internal bodies damage their students. To some they may be nameless, but to many on campus they are Wittenberg’s Police Division.
The division’s number-one goal is to keep the campus and its residents safe, but it is not always the officers alone. Chief James “Jim” Hutchins said the students and faculty help keep campus safe too. He believes they help because of the relationships each has made with the officers.
“Building relationships is one of the most important things we do,” said Hutchins.
Lt. Lee McCartney and Officer Carley Raney echoed this while also saying that New Student Days are one of the best parts of the year for them because the interaction with students. McCartney even does meetings with many houses in Witten’Burbs to build rapport with older students, while Hutchins likes to attend journalism classes for interviews.
Though our officers enjoy building relationships with campus, they are equipped with plenty of experience to protect it.
Chief and McCartney have both had over 25 years serving in Springfield law enforcement and Miami Sheriff’s office. Both joined Witt in 2014. Raney finished at the police academy and came to Witt in early 2018. Before that, she was already doing ride-alongs with Witt officers to get more experience.
With calls not “going well” often, these officers know how to spot trouble and McCartney says it worries students.
“Some students think that we are out to get them, we aren’t,” Hutchins said. “The officers aren’t out to catch student’s mistakes, but to help them when they do make mistakes… we’re not here to end lives, we’re here to help start them”.
The officers at Witt’s Police Division, “want to see the students grow and enjoy college”. To Hutchins and McCartney and other experienced officers, they’ve seen freshmen grow into seniors and graduate. McCartney saw his daughter graduate from Witt saying it is his greatest accomplishment as an officer.
Outside the uniform, the officers have their own lives too. Officer Raney delights in being active and running around campus while Hutchins and McCartney both enjoy woodworking.
If you have a chance, do not be afraid to talk to some of these officers or even the others of the division, they are “almost always willing to talk,” especially with students.