The Department of Public Safety’s primary role at St. John’s University is to act as a deterrent to crime. Many of the Public Safety officers are former law enforcement officers. Their arrest authority is equivalent to that of any other citizen. Public Safety officers do have the right to detain an individual until the police arrive to make a formal arrest. Public Safety’s job is to regularly patrol the campus, especially the dimly lit areas. Most students would agree that Public Safety is always on the lookout, and the officers are very visible on campus. In areas where Public Safety may not be, there are distress towers that can be activated to call them to the area immediately.
The University is extremely secure, and Public Safety has done a great job of keeping the campus secure without being too intrusive. Security has become one of St. John’s top priorities, and it definitely shows. Although they can become caught up in minuscule events, the Department of Public Safety is one of the University's strong points.