Princeton, NJ: ” Thank you for making Princeton a safe home ” , ” Thank you for all you do 24 / 7 ” ” I don’t even know how to express my graditude in wordss ” ” PSAFE RULEZ ! ”

Those were just some of the sentiments of students who recently threw a party to show their appreciation for the University’s Department of Public Safety, or “PSAFE,” as students call campus police.

About 25 students in 2 Dickinson (2D), an independent vegetarian food cooperative, surprised Public Safety officers with a cake, cards and thank-you video on Saturday, Dec. 3. The students called Public Safety to report a loud party in the area where 2D is located, on Dickinson Street adjoining campus. But when officers arrived to check the noise complaint, they instead found students shouting “We love Public Safety!”

“We wanted to surprise the officers, so we called a noise complaint on ourselves,” senior Vidushi Sharma said. “We all gathered on the porch to await the officers with the chocolate cake and a big card. When they arrived, we yelled ‘PSAFE WE LOVE YOU!’ and ran down to give them hugs. The officers were hilariously bemused but so appreciative.”

psafePrinceton students in 2 Dickinson (2D), an independent vegetarian food cooperative, recently threw a party to show their appreciation for the University’s Department of Public Safety, or “PSAFE.” The students surprised officers with a cake, thank-you cards and an appreciation video. Students signed the card with sentiments such as “Thank you for making Princeton a safe home.”











Co-organizer Alexandria Herr said it was a way to recognize everything Public Safety does to keep campus safe, all the while showing concern and care for students.

“Princeton’s campus police deals with everything from noise complaints to dangerous situations with almost unanimously recognized professionalism and kindness,” said Herr, a senior. “As people signed the thank-you card, we heard stories about how officers have helped students in a variety of incidents, from helping towel-wrapped freshmen locked out of their rooms to taking care of friends in emergency medical situations. We truly appreciate their desire to get to know students and this was just a small token of our love!”

Sgt. Stephen Solovey, one of the responding officers, said he and his colleagues were touched by the unexpected celebration.

“It’s not every day that we are able to know the impacts of our jobs here on campus,” said Solovey, who has worked at Public Safety for four-and-a-half years. “To be honored with this simple and important gesture really shows us that we are making a difference in serving our community the best we can.”

Solovey said the officers appreciated being able to take a few moments from their work to hang out with students.

“In a time where the national climate for law enforcement is tough, it is truly touching to experience an event like this,” he said. “When I started working at Public Safety and learned what it meant to interact with students, I immediately saw the positive impacts of my job. It means so much to me and other officers that students trust us and are able to come to us when they need us.”

Sgt. Jason Vacirca said all Public Safety staff have been boosted by the students’ acknowledgment of their work.

“Morale is through the roof,” said Vacirca, who has worked at Public Safety for five years.

Executive Director Paul Ominsky said the party shows the impact of the department’s community caretaking initiative.

“The Department of Public Safety strives at being helpful as campus resources and collaborators with all students, staff and faculty,” Ominsky said. “Our community caretaking mission is something we believe is a model for Public Safety nationally. The surprise appreciation event the students hosted meant a tremendous amount to not only the responding officers who were working that night, but to our entire department. In today’s climate, this simple but important gesture of baking a cake and making a personalized ‘thank-you’ card truly touched our hearts.”

And while the festivities were brief so officers could return to their duties, the night was memorable for everyone.

“The students got to mingle with the officers and they traded stories with us about their adventures,” Sharma said. “We plan to have them back to dinner at the 2D co-op soon!”

Solovey added, “My favorite part of the party was seeing the joy it brought to the officers and to the students. And the cake. The cake was absolutely awesome. I’m not sure who tipped off the students about chocolate being our favorite flavor.”

Article from the Daily Princetonian, 12/6/16…

Most partygoers wouldn’t think to call Department of Public Safety and file a noise complaint for the party they are currently attending. For a group of University students at the 2 Dickinson St. Co-op, however, that was exactly the right idea. On Dec. 3, students assembled at 2D for a party advertised on Facebook as “PSAFE Surprise”

The game plan, as outlined in a post to this event, was simple: “we will call psafe on ourselves. psafe will arrive. we will surprise psafe with a cake. we will then party.” Officers arrived shortly after the noise complaint was filed, by their own accounts unaware of the students’ plans. The first two officers on scene were greeted with a cheer of “We love you, PSafe!” that Sergeant Stephen Solovey described as “very overwhelming, in a positive way.” Soon, the first officers to respond had joined the party, calling in additional officers as “backup.” “We go off of each other’s voices on the radio sometime, and they [the other officers] definitely played into it,” Sergeant Jason Vacirca said. Executive Director of Public Safety Paul Ominsky addressed the exceptional nature of the event, contextualizing the situation and talking about campus support for Public Safety. “We do have people praise officers and give us very positive feedback … but this is, I think, the first time we’ve had a very big group praise the officers,” he said, adding “and provide cake.” When asked about the cake they ate at the event, the officers had only admiration to express. “Whoever the baker was definitely deserves an award,” Solovey said.

In addition to the food provided, officers also received a card filled with handwritten and grateful remarks, many of which had personal twists. For example, one student wrote “Thank you for making Princeton a safe home. Also, thank you for not judging me when I locked myself out two days in a row.” The party was organized primarily by Vidushi Sharma ’17 and Alexandria Herr ’17, both members of 2D and residents at the 2 Dickinson St. property that houses the Co-op. Sharma and Herr said that they had been planning the party for weeks, ever since Public Safety had responded to an actual noise complaint at 2D very courteously. “We wanted to have a party where they wouldn’t just have to shut us down, but could actually take part in the party,” Herr said. Sharma emphasized that they worked hard to keep the idea a secret, maintaining a sense of mystery in the hopes of getting more people to come.

Herr also emphasized the motivation for planning various parties at 2D in the first place, talking about her friends and more general ideas. “Coming into the year, it was my goal to make 2D more of a social scene for independent students,” Herr said. Other attendees offered further thoughts in support of the event. “It was a great time. I’m glad we were able to make these people feel appreciated, especially since this warm sentiment is not exactly what they’re probably used to getting from most students,” Nabai Habtemariam ’18 said. The officers in attendance also acknowledged students’ generosity in engaging with them. “After we talked about everything with the students, they then went a step further and extended the invitation for us to come there anytime to have dinner with them, which is awesome,” Solovey said. Both the Department of Public Safety and Princeton University Facebook pages published an account of the event.

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