New Wilkes public safety director arrives in March


Jargoe served on the Public Safety Department of the University of Maryland for many years. He will bring this experience to Wilkes University in March when he officially starts his position.

Nicole Zukowski, News Editor

Wilkes University will welcome Chief Christopher Jagoe as the new director of Public Safety in the beginning of March.

Following an assessment made last January from an outside public safety consultants, Margolis Healy & Associates, a search had been under way for a new director of Public Safety. The new position is just one of several initiatives to change the Office of Public Safety.

A committee comprised of faculty and staff, along with an outside consulting firm, Spelman and Johnson, set out to identify potential candidates resulting in the hiring of Jagoe.

“Wilkes is a beautiful campus,” Jagie said. “The largest thing for me (about taking on this position) was meeting the administration. Wilkes University made me feel very much like I was a wanted, welcomed person to the community.”

Jagoe earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Maryland, College Park and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy. In his time with University of Maryland Department of Public Safety, Jagoe served in a variety of positions. His most recent positions there were major, assistant chief of police and Police Services Bureau commander.

Some of the incidents that happen at Wilkes could be considered issues one would find at a larger university, such as the most recent attempted robbery on Jan. 29 when a Wilkes student was approached by a male driving a green Geo Tracker with pin stripes, had a gun in his lap and asked for money. Fortunately, the student was not hurt. The Wilkes-Barre Police received other reports about the same vehicle from other individuals not associated with the university.

“Coming from the University of Maryland, College Park, a very urban area, a lot of the things you’re experiencing there, while are very unfortunate, are things I am familiar with and happen at a lot of urban type campuses,” Jagoe said. “I will be looking to make the same recommendations I do for the University of Maryland when I arrive at Wilkes.”

At Wilkes, serving as the director of Public Safety will entail a number of duties to ensure that best possible safety on and around campus for the students. Filling the director position was one of the last proposals of the assessment made last year.

“I will be sitting down and working with the administration of the university to bring all of the community’s voice to the table and see what the expectations for Public Safety would be, and then with the administration see what is prudent and financially viable,” Jagoe said.

Jargoe also expressed some goals he wants to accomplish here at Wilkes. The Office of Public Safety will undergo various changes with Jagoe’s ideas.

“I plan on getting Public Safety accredited so that we have standards that mirror standards that are out there of other public safety departments in the nation,” Jagoe said. “I’m committed to ongoing training and staff development of Public Safety. Also, to make a partnership with the city’s police force.”

Of course, Public Safety can only do what is in their means to protect the Wilkes community. Staying safe is also up to the students themselves. Many signs are posted around campus to walk in numbers and to call Public Safety for an escort.

“Walk in groups and be aware of your surroundings. I see a lot of students walking around with headphones on looking at their phones,” Jagoe said about students responsibility for their own safety. “I would encourage people to use their given instinct to detect when things don’t feel right and act upon it.”

Jagoe brings with him an abundance of knowledge and experience to Wilkes with the hopes of improving the safety on campus.

“I intend to be fully engaged with the Wilkes community,” he said. ” I certainly value everyone’s opinion and take them in account when I make the end of the day decision.”