By Heather Johns
LEWISBURG, Pa. — In only 18 months at Bucknell University, Steve Barilar earned recognition for his role in saving the life of Bucknell parent who suffered a heart attack on campus in August 2011. He excelled as a staff sergeant. And in September 2012, after a national search, Barilar was named Bucknell University's new chief of Public Safety.
He joined Bucknell's Department of Public Safety as a staff sergeant in March 2011 following his retirement from a 26-year career with the Pennsylvania State Police. "I really enjoy the law enforcement field and I was looking to begin a second career," said Barilar. "Early on in my time with the Pennsylvania State Police I was stationed at the Milton barracks, and I was always impressed with Bucknell University."
The search committee, led by university General Counsel Wayne Bromfield, was clear about their criteria for the person who would replace Jason Friedberg, who served as chief for six years.
"We were looking for candidates who appreciate the balance between the protection of students and the traditional requirements of any law enforcement agency to enforce the law," said Bromfield. "We were also looking for a candidate who had a record of proven leadership and the professional experience needed to manage a very well-trained officer corps. Steve met all those requirements, and his good humor and approachable manner made him our top choice."
"I am looking forward to the continued development and growth of the University, and I hope as a department we can continue to grow and develop in law enforcement and in technology along with the rest of the University," said Barilar.
Some of that technology, Barilar said, includes 23 on-campus cameras that are streamed and recorded directly to Public Safety. "We are in the process of enhancing the videos so the recorded file can be utilized for evidentiary purposes," he explained. "The intention is to make the campus safer and reduce crimes such as theft and hit-and-run accidents."
"My goal is to make the Bucknell University Department of Public Safety the premier campus law enforcement authority in the country," said Barilar. One step toward this goal is initiating a student-based safety committee. The committee — which would include Public Safety, along with representatives from the Dean of Students office — will look at safety issues on campus through the eyes of students.
"I would like to make Public Safety a resource the entire faculty, staff and student body come to respect and trust," said Barilar. "We are here not only to provide the law enforcement authority of all police departments, but to also provide a service to the entire campus community."
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