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Juniata Creates Office of Public Safety and Residential Life, Revamping Existing Structure

(Posted June 2, 2008)

Tim Launtz, director of public safety and residential life

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College has reorganized its Office of Residential Life and Office of Safety and Security and formed a new department called the Office of Public Safety and Residential Life, which will be responsible for the supervision of the college's safety and security officers, as well as oversight for all residence halls and safety and security programs for the college's student population.

Tim Launtz, a resident of Huntingdon, has been named director of public safety and residential life, effective June 1. Previously, Launtz was director of residential life at the college from 2001 to May 2008.

Rocco Panosetti, formerly director of campus safety and security, will assume new duties as chief of campus investigations and patrol supervisor.

"The restructuring gives us an opportunity to build on the considerable advances in security and safety made by Rocco Panosetti and our security officers," says Kris Clarkson, dean of students. "I believe our reorganization gives us an advantage in developing new safety and security projects and programs. I look forward to working with Tim Launtz to accomplish these goals."

The reorganization comes as part of the college's yearlong review and reorganization of campus safety and security.

"The public safety of our students and employees is one of our highest priorities, and creating a new department that oversees safety, security and residential life gives us a much more efficient infrastructure to provide service to our students and employees."
- Thomas Kepple, president

"The public safety of our students and employees is one of our highest priorities, and creating a new department that oversees safety, security and residential life gives us a much more efficient infrastructure to provide service to our students and employees," explains Thomas R. Kepple, president of Juniata. "The organizational changes will give us the opportunity to seamlessly institute policy changes that affect campus safety and provide improved communication throughout the campus."

The new director's job responsibilities include oversight of all residential life security staff and providing 24-hour, seven days a week, year-round coverage for the campus. In addition, the director will oversee the college's emergency management plan, establish and maintain training standards, assign duties for all staff, oversee parking registration and enforcement, and direct fire safety inspections, fire drills and emergency drills. The director also serves as a liaison for all law enforcement agencies and emergency agencies, administers the collection and reporting of crime statistics and directs the assessment of public safety programs.

The reorganization is the latest step in a process that began in 2007 as Juniata decided to assess its safety and security measures in the wake of the shootings at Virginia Tech. In April 2007, the college appointed a Review Group to evaluate Juniata's current security measures and make recommendations on changes to campus security practices. The group made a series of recommendations to improve security in August 2007. The College brought in an external reviewer who wrote a detailed report of recommendations.

The college acted on several recommendations made in the Review Group's report. The college decided to install a secure locking system for all of Juniata's residence halls on the campus. The systems were installed during spring semester starting in January. In addition, the college will install a warning siren (with a unique sound signature) in a central area of campus this summer.

In April, the Juniata Board of Trustees voted to begin the process of arming Juniata's safety and security officers. The vote, at an April 19 meeting of the trustees, authorized the college to begin the process of training all full-time security officers.

Tim Launtz, a 1980 Juniata graduate and a Huntingdon native, has significant experience in many aspects of safety and security.

He started his career with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, working his way up to unit manager at the State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon. He left in 2000 after a 17-year career. He was named director of residential life at Juniata in 2001.

Launtz also served as fire chief for the Huntingdon Fire Department, an all-volunteer department, from 1983 to 1997.

Launtz also has been deeply involved in Juniata athletics as a coach for the college's football program. He has worked with the football team in a variety of coaching positions since 1996. He worked for a year as defensive coordinator in 2000 and most recently has served for five years as the team's quarterbacks coach.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.