New police on AACC campus

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New police on AACC campus

Brad Dress, Associate Editor

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AACC’s Public Safety Department has hired a new officer and is currently looking for another.

The Department hired a police officer on Feb. 1 to balance out the public safety officers, who get their training through the college, and the police officers, who train through the Maryland Police Training Commission at an academy.

Police officers may carry guns and public safety officers carry pepper spray and batons.

Police Chief Sean Kapfhammer said he hired the officer because the Department needs to meet a requirement set by the college. The number they need to reach is 30 officers— 21 public safety officers, and nine police officers.

“We want to make sure the campus is adequately protected with an armed officer at the times we need them,” Kapfhammer said about the balance of the two kinds of officers.

The Department has hired three public safety officers and one police officer since Kapfhammer became the chief in June 2016.

Recently hired officer Jeffrey Pevo said he chose to apply to AACC because he knew people in the department, like the major and chief.

Pevo said, prior to coming to AACC, he was an Anne Arundel County police officer for 27 years, and added he was a road officer, detective, a general police instructor for 25 years and in the SWAT team for 15 years.

“When you come to a college like this here, you have to approach law enforcement at a different angle,” Pevo said. “You’re working closely with the kids and faculty, so you have to approach things in a different aspect.”

Additionally, the Public Safety Department sent a notification out via email on Feb. 10. The email said they were seeking to hire a new college police officer.

Once approved by the college, the open job position hits online websites. Once applicants start to rush in, a committee, consisting of high-ranking police in the Department, review each candidate in an extensive process, according to Kapfhammer.

Applicants must undergo a background and medical check, psychological and physical testing and situational questioning concerning police work.

Applicants seeking for a public safety officer position are usually required to have background security work at an establishment.

Police officers have the same process with the addition of a polygraph test, and they must be a certified MPTC officer and have some background in law enforcement.

An officer who recently retired opened the newest position. Nancy Kutz, the retiring officer, worked at the Department for more than 20 years.

Kutz started as a public safety officer, but worked her way up to Sergeant in 2008, and was in charge of the Rape Aggression Defense Program and the Child Safety Seat Inspections Program.

Kapfhammer said at the college, the Department follows the state’s Teachers’ Pension, which calls for a mandatory 10 years of work to be eligible for a standard retirement.

Kapfhammer said she is the only officer to retire since he became the chief.