Patrolling Sourthern – A two-part series in the lives of the officers of the Department of Public Safety

David Campbell, night-shift DPS officer, said his main tasks include checking doors, patrolling the campus and preventing burglary.

Kristin Wilfing

David Campbell, night-shift DPS officer, said his main tasks include checking doors, patrolling the campus and preventing burglary.

John Carr

When most students go to bed, the day just begins for David Campbell and Susan Messner.

Campbell and Messner work the midnight shifts of the Department of Public Safety.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Messner has worked for the public and private security sectors for several years.

“I am currently a post-certified police officer,” Messner said. “I graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy in 2004.”

“I am currently a student here seeking degrees in law enforcement (associates), criminal justice administration (B.A.) and psychology (minor). I hope to get my master’s degree.”

Messner said she enjoys working with the University students and faculty.

“I’ve never encountered such a great group of people,” she said. “The staff, faculty and students are just wonderful. They bend over backwards to help everyone. It’s a pleasure everyday

to work here.”

After Messner completes her studies, she hopes to teach criminal justice and work as a criminologist for the Central Intelligence Agency.

David Campbell is the newest member to the security task force.

Campbell has worked in security across the United States, but he received his training at Southern, too, he said.

“I am a Missouri Southern graduate,” Campbell said. “I graduated here in ’89.”

After college, Campbell continued his career as a police officer for two and half years.

“Then I moved to Hawaii, and I got into security over there,” he said. “I have a total of about five years in security.”

He started at Southern just after Thanksgiving in 2005.

“It’s an interesting job,” he said.

Campbell said his main tasks include patrolling, door checking and preventing burglary.

“I don’t open very many car doors or write many tickets,” he said.

The campus remains fairly quiet at night, Campbell said.

“It’s pretty quiet. That’s the thing about security – it’s gloryless,” he said. “If nothing is happening, you know your doing your job. As long as it’s quiet, I’m happy. Since I’ve been here, we haven’t had anything happen at night.”

Messner patrols the residence hall side of campus, and Campbell patrols the other side.

“I love working at night,” Campell said.

Campbell returned to Southern impressed with the improvements.

“I am very happy with the way the University has gone,” he said. “The main thing that I like about it is now it is a university. I think the administration has done a wonderful job. Our weakness back then was we didn’t have graduate programs. You grabbed a degree, and then you had to

go somewhere else.”

Campbell is considering returning to Southern to acquire a degree is mass communications.

“I am interested in television broadcast and maybe photography,” he said.

Campbell said he likes his job, but would eventually like to work in the communications field.

Along with communications, he has several hobbies.

“I like to watch television,” he said. “I like to cook, I love sporting – looking forward to the Olympics. I like to game.”