Bethany Ricciardi 

Equinox Staff 


The Keene Police Department and Campus Safety beef-up staff to handle the influx of thousands of returning college students. Keene State College students returned the last week of August, causing a lot of change in the city of Keene.

When the semester kicks-off patrolling and safety procedures change, officials from KPD and KSC said both departments have to be well-staffed and equipped to act when an incident is called in. Together they keep our campus safe and comfortable for students to live.

Keene Police Department’s Lt. Christopher Stewart stated that once students are on campus they will add extra officers for the first few weekends. They typically add two to three officers for patrol, he said. Stewart continued and said KPD treceives calls regarding drug and alcohol offenses, along with noise complaints.

Lt. Stewart said when comparing the summer to the fall, the department has dealt with a spike in arrests for underage misbehavior, but not so much any rise in crime level. Stewart also said that on Aug.  23, they made 43 arrests involving unlawful possession, resisting arrest and or possession of drugs. This compares to arrest records in the month of July, where police  made 22 arrests for transportation of alcohol.

KPD has no restrictions; they can come on and off campus as part of their jurisdiction, but he also said that depending on the situation, such as if the incident is on campus, they call KSC Campus Safety first.

Lt. Stewart also noted that campus and the downtown area is definitely a hot spot for KPD during the weekends.

Campus Safety Director Amanda Warman described how campus and the department are different once students are back. Warman indicated that her department stays busy over the summer with campus conferences, projects and faculty being on campus.

According to Warman, the department keeps the same number of staff on during the summer as in the fall but no transportation shuttle is available. She said this is the officer’s time to alternate and take their personal vacation time.  She stressed Campus Safety is a 24/7 business and available at any time for any on-campus events.

Warman said a few incidents happened over the summer, many happening on campus. During the summer, students attend student and staff conferences, soccer, field hockey, cross country and lacrosse camp, as well as department of education conferences, for example.

Once fall arrived she said they keep most of their staff on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Officers patrol the area, looking for activity such as students consuming illegal substances on the bridge across to Wal-Mart.

Warman said the first weekend, students were caught drinking in front of Randall Hall. The first Thursday night of the semester when upperclassmen returned, Aug. 29, she said they [Campus Safety] called for 15 arrests around campus. On Labor Day weekend they called for 20 arrests. KPD comes for backup and makes the arrests. The arrests all included incidents for either drugs or alcohol.

Students are the majority of the ones having run-ins with these two departments. A sophomore on campus, Alex, said he feels safe and that Campus Safety officers are available to him a good amount. He also said he’s witnessed about four to five dorm rooms ‘get caught’ by Campus Safety officers. In one of the incidents he was included. He said in his event, Campus Safety proceeded to call KPD and they made arrests.

Students are the majority of the ones having run-ins with these two departments. Jerry Healy, a freshman who lives in Carle Hall got arrested Saturday night, Sept. 7 for an open container violation. He was ticketed and detained. Despite the incident, he said that he always feels safe on campus. “I’ve seen KPD be nothing but respectful” he said. Healy said during the arrest officers treated him nicely. He also said he saw about 30 other students get arrested or given consequences for misbehavior.

On the other hand, a KSC freshman said he did not know where the Campus Safety building was and that he preferred not to encounter Campus Safety because they made him feel “kind of nervous.”

A sophomore on campus, Shawn Gilpatrick has a different relationship with Campus Safety. He works for their parking enforcement and dispatch department. He said this job is “fun and rewarding.” He added that working for Campus Safety helps him gain experience for his minor; criminal justice.

Molly Smith, a senior who lived off campus this past summer, noticed a significant amount of change when students are gone. She said this was her first summer living in Keene and the town kept quiet. “Over the summer there is definitely not many people walking around at night and no loud house party disturbances compared to the school year,” she noted. She said she saw a lot of police patrol around the center of Main Street, but during the school year she said she sees them on campus often.

Campus Safety does more than just patrol.   Freshmen are provided with information packets, with things such as shuttle times, and given contact information as well so all students start off educated about our Campus Safety. In addition, Warman said she runs self-defense classes and these are available to all students male and female.

Campus Safety and KPD dedicate a significant amount of time and resources to the Keene State College campus. As students move in, the departments are aware and patrolling accordingly. Lt. Stewart mentioned that the years kept similar arrest ratings in the past. Both departments are structured and prepared for the fall.


Bethany Ricciardi can be contacted at

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