Though David Meyer wears plain clothes to work
every day, he still has the approach and sensibilities of an officer in
In the past 27 years, Meyer has worked his way up the ranks from patrol
person to officer to supervisor to captain. In October 2005 he was named
interim director and in May 2006, he was promoted to director of Public
“It’s a unique position to be in because as the director, I have to be
available 24-7 for whatever might come up,” Meyer says from his second-floor
office in the Public Safety Building on High Street. “Heading a department
that is a 24-hour operation can be a real challenge.”
Meyer says he rarely works a regular schedule, and Monday through Friday
shifts are unordinary. He and two captains rotate their schedules so at
least one of them is available at all times. If an incident is serious,
Meyer will be notified whether he is on or off duty.
As the new director, Meyer has a few goals in mind. For one, he wants to
build a stronger rapport with the campus and Middletown community, and hopes
the Public Officers can gain more respect for their problem solving
“We are geared towards helping people resolve issues and we pride ourselves
on that,” Meyer says.
Meyer says implementing new technology, such as having computers in patrol
vehicles, is on his list of to-dos. He wants to train his staff to use
certain technology and equipment to make their jobs easier.
Meyer also wants to make the department more efficient and stresses that all
officers work on being and doing their best every day.
“This department isn’t me. It’s every patrol person, supervisor and officer
in here,” Meyer says. “They do an outstanding job and I regularly get
compliments about how courteous and professional the staff is.”
The Office of Public Safety consists of Meyer, two other captains, four
supervisors and 20 officers and patrol people. The staff is multifaceted,
and staff members are called upon to do everything from break up physical
confrontations to respond to mechanical problems.
Often times, they will be asked to make a uniformed presence at certain
Wesleyan events such as football games and Reunion and Commencement Weekend.
They not only work at keeping these events safe, they are available to offer
friendly assistance to anyone in need.
Although Meyer’s job as director is primarily administrative, he still makes
time to go on site. Recently, he worked at Homecoming/Family Weekend events.
He regularly helps out at Residential Life functions.
Maureen Isleib, associate director of Residential Life, has worked with
Meyer for six years and has requested his presence at dozens of
events. Beneath that gruff exterior, she says, is a man who really cares
about the safety and security of our community.
"In particular, over the past few years we have
teamed up to educate students about precautions they can take to ensure
their own safety, and Dave actively solicits feedback from student leaders
regarding how to best reach out to the campus," Isleib says. "He's not a man
who just sits behind his desk, he leads by example often staffing many of
the large events on campus, including the parties that run into the early
hours of the morning."
When Meyer started at Wesleyan in 1979, the Office of Public Safety was
located in the basement of North College. His office remained there until
1999 when it moved to a former graduate student house on High Street.
During his time here, Meyer says he’s noticed a trend in campus
consolidation, and this benefits his department tremendously.
“I’ve seen a lot of change on campus like the Freeman Athletic Center
addition and the new Fauver Field Residences, which is a great thing for the
campus,” Meyer explains. “Wesleyan doesn’t really have any boundaries. It
blends in with the community, so it’s always good to bring the students in
closer, and when they are closer, it’s easier for us to keep them safer.”