News and Updates

The PBA of New York State Issues Back-to-College Safety Message

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The law enforcement union representing State University Police officers is urging students to heed the messages of safety they’ve received from school officials and PBA members as they settle in for the 2015-16 school year. Becoming a crime victim can sometimes be avoided or minimized by practicing behaviors that help reduce risk. This applies to students living on campus and in off-campus neighborhoods.

“College years should be associated with education, fun and friendships,” said Pete Barry, PBA of NYS president State University Police Officers director. “But colleges and universities have some of the same issues that we find in communities, such as violence, theft, sexual assault and illegal drug use. It is our job to educate and protect students while enforcing the laws of New York and the campus rules.”

The New York State University Police is the law enforcement agency of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Roughly 500 uniformed officers, investigators and supervisors serve 28 state college and university campuses throughout the state.

Addressing safety is a team effort in New York. University Police routinely partner with top administrators, residential life representatives, student government, families, surrounding law enforcement professionals and others to provide education and help ensure a safe environment for all.

But, diligence and awareness goes a long way in avoiding unsafe situations. The PBA of NYS offers the following tips to protect yourself and your property:

First, remember the acronym WORK:

  • Walk in pairs, especially at night.
  • Observe your surroundings.
  • Report suspicious activities.
  • Keep all doors locked.


  • Don’t leave technology devices unattended.
  • Know where fire exits are located in buildings, including dorms.

“We ask students to familiarize themselves with the ways they can report incidences, such as campus ‘blue phones’ and safety zones,” said Scott Marciszewski, University Police Officers lieutenants director and University at Buffalo police lieutenant. “College campuses are safe places and they should be enjoyed without fear. However, we ask students, staff and visitors to use awareness and common sense to help us achieve the safest campuses possible.”

The PBA of New York State is the exclusive bargaining agent for the New York State University (SUNY) Police, the New York State Environmental Conservation Police, the New York State Park Police, and the New York State Forest Rangers. Our members police and protect New York State’s public universities and colleges; state parks and historic sites; and they enforce state laws and protect our lands and forests and ensure environmental safety and quality throughout the state.