The Wittenberg police division is a vital part of our campus’ safety and security. With all the fun things we like to do on Friday nights, it’s a real comfort to know that if things go awry they’ll have our back.
As is the case with any job, in the last few months we’ve lost a few officers, but we’ve also gained a few. Wittenberg’s Lieutenant Lee McCartney dispelled the rumors that we had to let officers go: “We had a couple leave, but it wasn’t because we had to let them go, they moved on to other departments. We’ve been fortunate that we haven’t had to let somebody go,” He finished with a laugh. McCartney also talked about the new officers Wittenberg has hired for the 2018-2019 school year.
Our two new female officers are Carley Raney and Connie Picciano, who both started last May. “[Connie] was with Central State for…six years,” McCartney said, “and then she started with us. Then Carly…she’s pretty much fresh out of the Academy.” In addition, Wittenberg recently hired Daniel Arnett and Beau Ray. Arnett worked for a local hospital for the last ten years before being hired here, and Ray just finished academy training and started September 10.
Picciano and Raney are both the first female officers the school has had since May of 2014, so it’s exciting to welcome them to our campus. When asked about how they enjoy working at Witt so far, both talked about how welcoming the campus is. “It’s awesome hearing ‘Hi Connie!’ on campus,” Picciano stated, and Raney was pleasantly surprised at how polite and how willing to help the students were.
The two of them spent the summer here, which they enjoyed, but they were excited for all the new students to come in.
“I [was] actually excited to watch this new batch of freshmen come in,” Picciano said. “To be able to watch them grow and mature is so exciting.”
How is it to be the first female officers on campus in a few years?
“Being a female police officer can have its challenges,” Raney confessed. “First, sometimes we aren’t taken as seriously. Second, it can be difficult to control physical situations when they arise. [But], we have undergone extensive training and are just as capable of handling a situation as a male police officer.”
“We all do the same job, but in some certain situations, it’s more comfortable for people to rather speak with a female officer versus a male,” Picciano stated.
Both officers believe in the importance of male and female officers working together to address problems on campus.
“Thankfully every single police officer I have worked with believes the same and has treated me with respect,” Raney stated. “I am lucky to be with the officers here at Witt.”
All our police officers want to make sure that they are approachable and known by all students.
“Don’t be afraid to say hi,” Picciano urged. “We are here for you! Please understand that the rules are here for everyone’s safety. We want you guys to have a fun and enjoyable experience here at Witt.”
McCartney wants to encourage closer relationships between the students and the police officers.
“I’m encouraging the officers to get out and try to meet everybody, and at least introduce themselves,” he said, and believes that the students should do the same. “The better we get to know each other, the better it is for both sides. The way I look at it, we’re all a team, so it’s not one side versus the other side, I think we’re all one team. We can all work together on stuff.”
Next time you see our new officers, or any officer for that matter, make sure you say hi and thank them for all the hard work they put into keeping our campus positive and safe.