wheaton college sign

Wheaton College in Norton.

NORTON — Local public safety chiefs say they don’t anticipate any major changes in responding to emergencies at Wheaton College following layoffs at its public safety department.

The college recently laid off all but two of its public safety officers and hired a private security company to patrol the campus.

The company Securitas Security took over Monday.

The college last week declined to comment on the decision.

Some of the dozen or so public safety officers, who had arrest powers, have worked for the college for about 30 years.

Police Chief Brian Clark said he spoke with a Securitas official Monday,

Clark said no students have been on the campus because of the coronavirus pandemic so it is difficult to determine what impact the change means for the police department.

“We’ve always had a good relationship with Wheaton Public Safety and with the administration,” Clark said.

Fire Chief Shawn Simmons said all the buildings on the campus are equipped with fire alarms and most of the medical calls are received through the 911 system.

“I don’t anticipate any major changes,” Simmons said.

Securitas is a worldwide company with 400 branch offices in the United States, including one in Boston, according to its website.

While declining to comment, a Wheaton spokesperson said in an email that “the safety and security of our community is always our top priority.”

Enrollment at the college is 1,775 students. In the most recent update on its website, the college said students will return to campus Jan. 30 with classes scheduled to start Feb. 3.

David Linton may be reached at 508-236-0338.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.