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University Police

Point Park University police officers patrol the campus on bicycles and in vehicles. | Photo by Jim Judkis

Providing a safe, secure campus environment

Point Park's Department of Public Safety is responsible for providing all members of the University community with a safe and secure environment in which to work, learn and live.  The department has both sworn police officers and nonsworn public safety officers, who serve as dispatchers. Police officers respond to criminal, security, fire and medical emergencies, and are on duty 365 days a year.

Police officers patrol University-owned buildings by foot, vehicle and bicycles. When requested, the Public Safety Department provides escorts for anyone on Point Park's campus to parking garages or to any destination on campus, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The department has received accreditation from the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.


Point Park University police officers have the authority to ask persons for identification and to determine whether individuals have lawful business at Point Park University. Point Park police officers do possess arrest powers and are armed. Criminal incidents are referred to the police officers, which has jurisdiction on campus and surrounding public areas.


University police officer jurisdiction is defined by Pennsylvania Title 22, Pa.C.S.A. Detectives and private police, Section 501 (c), which states, "Such policemen, so appointed, shall severally possess and exercise all the powers of a police officer in this Commonwealth, in and upon, and in the immediate and adjacent vicinity of, the property of the corporation."

While University officer jurisdiction is limited to "the immediate and adjacent vicinity", Pennsylvania courts have ruled circumstances can extend this jurisdiction. Such circumstances include "pursuits," when an officer is actively pursuing a suspect. The severity of a crime witnessed by an officer can also have an effect on jurisdiction. When needed, University officers will request Pittsburgh police assistance or intervention.

Interagency Cooperation

The Point Park University Department of Public Safety maintains a highly professional working relationship with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, including the Commander of Zone 2, which covers the neighborhood where the Main Campus is located (Central Business District, downtown Pittsburgh), and the Commander of Zone 2, which covers the neighborhood where the Pittsburgh Playhouse is located (West Oakland).  The Department of Public Safety also works closely with the FBI, University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University and Chatham University police departments.  The Public Safety Department will assist members of the University community in reporting crimes to the Pittsburgh Police.  All crime victims and witnesses are strongly encouraged to immediately report the crime to Public Safety and the Pittsburgh Police.  Prompt reporting will assure timely warning notices on campus and timely disclosure of crime statistics.

The Department of Public Safety at Point Park also maintains a highly professional working relationship with the Pennsylvania State Police.  Among other things, the Public Safety Department furnishes the State Police with crime data on a monthly basis.

Police Division/Sworn Personnel

The primary responsibilities of the Police Division are to serve and protect persons and property used, owned, or occupied by Point Park University.  The police officers are Act 120 certified and patrol 24/7, by foot, bicycle, and vehicle assigned areas of property. They proactively prevent crime and apprehend offenders as necessary, while preserving peace, and ensuring the Point Park community’s compliance with all federal, state, and local laws, and with internal Point Park University policies to the greatest extent possible.  The Police Division is responsible for criminal investigations and crime scene processing for incidents.  The Police Division regularly meets and consults with students, staff, and faculty regarding crime prevention and safety issues.

Asst. Vice President of Public Safety/Chief of Police

4301-  Jeff Besong

Captain of Police Department

4302 - Bernie Merrick

Police Officers

4303 - Sgt. Nicholas Black
4304 - Sgt. Jeffrey Svidron
4305 - Cpl. Matthew Mays
4306 - Mary Suber
4307 - Teri Bracco
4308 - April Martin
4309 - Ron Wilson
4310 - Joe Miller
4311 - Matt Meyers
4312 - Jim Pasqualino
4313 - Nicole Grimes
4314 - Chris Pipkins

Public Safety Division/Non-Sworn Personnel:

The primary responsibilities of the Public Safety Division are crime prevention, abatement, and security services within the Point Park patrol zone jurisdiction.  Public Safety Division officers serving as dispatchers are trained under Pennsylvania Act #235.

Public Safety Officers/Dispatchers

202 - Jim Green
203 - Melanie Munn
204 - John Gallagher
205 - Charles Thomas