The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

SJU Adds New Face To Community

Public Safety and Security at St. John’s has added a new face to its family, one with vast experience, knowledge and love for her field of work.

Margaret McCann, the new director of Public Safety, was appointed on Feb. 4 to replace Ray Muchow, who retired from the position last year.

Born in the Bronx and raised in Queens, McCann sees St. John’s as part of the fabric that makes up New York City and said she can’t imagine a better place to be. She wants to make her mark here as someone who sets goals and accomplishes them.

With just one month on the job, McCann already realizes some of the problems that exist on the campus, such as the parking situation, and says that the solution is time, seeing as how the setbacks are temporary due to the building of the soccer stadium.

In the meantime, she said, students should look into the surrounding community for alternate parking facilities while keeping in mind the rights of the homeowners and their property. McCann not only wants the students, but also the community’s residents, to see her as a resource.

“The communication portion of it, getting people on board with you, making them believe that you have their best interest in mind [is important],” said McCann. “We have that role of enforcing University rules and we can’t, nor would we back away from them.”

McCann said that her expertise will create open communication between the safety department and student life.

“Open communication and ongoing communication [is important],” McCann said. “We need one another. We rely upon one another. I rely on the student population to cooperate when it comes to rules and regulations. It would make everybody’s life better while they are here on campus.”

McCann’s experience dates to 1973, when she joined the New York City Police Department. Having entered the police force at a time when women were not welcome, McCann said she helped to lead the way for women.

“It was being a pioneer in the policing field that essentially drew me to this line of work,” she said.

Her determination and resolve has paid off, with a Certificate of Appreciation from the 75th Precinct and one from the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association just to name a few of her accomplishments. Since she’s been on board, at St. John’s she has been welcomed with open arms by administration, faculty and Student Life.

St. John’s appointed McCann because, according to Jody Fisher, director of Media Relations, McCann’s resume spoke for itself and her qualifications would benefit the Public Safety Department. He also said that McCann jumped right into familiarizing herself with the Queens campus as well as all the other St. John’s campuses.

In the New York City Police Department, McCann ultimately wound up in the Intelligence Division, which serves as New York City’s secret service; she also worked in health care.

“The responsibility is awesome. You are responsible for people’s lives, people who are possibly in a state of not being able to help themselves,” she said.

“You become more specialized in the area of safety and security as opposed to policing, which are really two different disciplines.”

The decision to leave her previous job within the New York hospital system was difficult, she said, since she grew very much a part of it. However, entering the academic environment was something she always had in mind.

McCann is currently learning more about her position and her surroundings as well as absorbing as much information as she can about public safety and security here at St. John’s. She said she has received absolute support from University president, the Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M. down to the students.

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