Otterbein Police Provide Services to Campus Beyond Just Security

Posted Oct 13, 2021

By Bridget Oder ‘23

The Otterbein Police Department (OPD) provides many useful services to the Otterbein campus community that many don’t even realize.

OPD’s primary mission is to keep the university safe. “Service First,” their motto, demonstrates their commitment to helping in any way, no matter the situation.

“We want to live our motto every day,” said Larry Banaszak, chief of police. “Students should call us at 614-823-1222 anytime 24/7 when they don’t know who else to contact.”

Many people on campus are unaware of the myriad of services OPD provides. These services include giving rides individuals who may be unable to walk, escort service for students who are apprehensive about walking in the dark, vehicle unlocks, jump-starts, and changing flat tires.

OPD also provides educational training sessions. Violence Against Women Act self-defense, response to a campus shooter, basic crime prevention, hazing awareness, alcohol and date rape drug awareness, identity theft prevention, and know your rights sessions. 

At Otterbein, the crime rate is extremely low. OPD will not make any arrests, instead they prefer educational sanctions in most situations. However, OPD does have a zero-tolerance policy for crimes of violence and felony crimes. Otterbein is a safe community and that is the way that it should stay. Students here at Otterbein feel safe and surrounded by good people.

“What I enjoy most about our role is contributing to campus safety by connecting with our students and seeing them feel safe and happy during their Otterbein experience,” Banaszak said. I also look forward to Commencement and seeing them pumped up with smiles walking across the stage shaking hands and receiving their diplomas. How awesome is that?”

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