Campus Security Officer Jason Philipp is on point to help people
A native of Austin, Minn., Jason Philipp, 32, serves as campus security officer at Inver Hills Community College. Jason’s on-the-job philosophy is not complicated: Be there when people need help.
Jason enrolled at Bemidji State University right after graduating from Austin High School in 2000. He worked all four of his years at BSU as a student security officer, graduating with a B.S. in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology. He went on to complete the 10-week Law Enforcement Skills program at Alexandria Technical & Community College. From there, he passed the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) exam and served as a patrol officer for the St. Louis Park Police Department. He eventually returned to Bemidji and went to work in the loss prevention field at the corporate level.
“I was a regional manager in charge of seven loss prevention teams at Herberger’s,” he said. “The work was challenging and I enjoyed it.”
Jason found his true calling as a campus security professional when he and his wife Gaile moved to Forest Grove, Ore. “Gaile double-majored in chemistry and biology at BSU,” he said. “We chose to live in Oregon so that she could study optometry at Pacific University. I landed a job as a campus security officer at Lewis & Clark College in Portland. Four months later, a security officer position opened at Pacific University and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”
Jason loved working at Pacific. He was on the same campus as his wife, he was very good at his job and summers in Oregon were fantastic. “No bugs and no humidity,” he said. “And we were close to the ocean.”
When the top slot in his department opened up, Jason decided to go for it—and he succeeded. “My title was manager of environmental health and campus security,” he said. “I supervised nine full-time officers and we oversaw security at seven residence halls. I really liked the work and the responsibility.”
CAMPUS EMERGENCY and SECURITY Numbers
Emergency Circumstances Only
9-911 for campus phones
911 for other phones
IHCC Campus Security
3711 for campus phones
651-450-3711 for other phones
IHCC Director of Safety and Security
3528 for campus phones
651-450-3528 for other phones
Inver Grove Heights Police Department
Police Administration: 651-450-2525
Moving back to Minnesota made sense once Gaile was ready to start her practice as an optometrist. Jason learned about the campus security officer opening at Inver Hills and jumped at the chance to apply. He started working at the college in October 2012.
“I like the atmosphere at Inver Hills,” he said. “It’s friendly, fun and diverse. My duties run the gamut from responding to calls to patrolling buildings and parking lots. I like the way each day is different.”
Emergency preparedness is a major aspect of campus security. Jason related how the Dakota County Emergency Response Team ran drills on the Inver Hills campus in fall 2013. “They occupied the Business and Activities buildings,” he said, “and brought in role players to act out various scenarios, including active shooter. They drove a school bus onto the mall for an explosive device scenario.”
Jason wants students, faculty and staff to remember an important phone number. “You can dial 3711 from any campus phone to reach Campus Security,” he said. “That number rings phones in three locations: my office near the college cafeteria, the Assessment desk in the Library building and the office of the director of safety and security in Heritage Hall.” The full number is 651-450-3711 for other phones.
“We have a great relationship with the Inver Grove Heights Police Department,” Jason added. “Inver Grove police officers cover security duties during evenings on campus. Tom McCluney, our safety and security director, is a former patrol officer with the department.”
Other services provided by Campus Security include:
- Safewalks Service: Members of the campus community can receive a security escort to their vehicles through the Assessment/Testing Center, by dialing “3711” from any on-campus telephone:
- Monday 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- Tuesday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- Fridays 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Saturday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m
- New Student Orientation: Brochures and other printed materials are distributed to new students. Parking regulations, personal security and crime prevention issues are addressed in all new student orientations.
- Campus Safety and Security Committee: The Campus Safety and Security Committee has college-wide representation and meets quarterly, or as frequently as necessary, to review incident reports and submit recommendations to the college administration on issues of safety and security. The committee also serves as a clearinghouse for policies, procedures and recommendations regarding safety and security.
- Printed Crime Prevention Safety Materials: Brochures, posters and announcements are posted at various locations throughout the campus.
- Crime Prevention Publicity: Crime prevention and security issues are routinely published in the student newspaper, the Student and Staff Bulletins and via email.
- Rape Awareness Education and Prevention: The College Health Service distributes brochures and sponsors presentations to members of the campus community. In addition, seminars on the subject are often offered during Student Success Day each semester.
- Drug and Alcohol Education: Inver Hills sponsors drug/alcohol awareness activities and information is available in the College Health Service. Additional materials may also be obtained from the Counseling Center. (See Inver Hills’ Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Policy and Program for addition information.)
Jason mentioned that battery packs for charging dead vehicle batteries are located at the Assessment desk in the Library building and the Rec Center office in the Activities building. “We can also help open locked vehicles,” he said.
Jason and his wife, Gaile, reside in Stillwater, Minn. Gaile works as an optometrist in White Bear Lake. They enjoy any activity that takes them outdoors, including camping, canoeing, fishing, swimming and four-wheeling.
“One of the greatest adventures of my life was when my best friend, Nate Ziegler, and I completed a two-month summer canoe trip from the Otter Tail River in Minnesota to the Hudson Bay in Canada,” Jason said, noting that they followed a number of waterways to finish the journey, taking the Red River to Lake Winnipeg to the Nelson River to the Echimamish River to the Hayes River before finally arriving at York Factory on the Hudson Bay, a paddling distance of 1,500 miles. “We saw black bear and moose along the way, but what really impressed us was the incredible kindness of complete strangers. Everyone we asked allowed us to camp for the night on their property. And they always offered us dinner. One couple even offered to let us use their Cadillac Escalade to drive into Winnipeg. We declined, but that was amazing.”
Not surprisingly, Jason Philipp brings that same spirit of kindness to his job as campus security officer. “I like having the ability to assist people when they need something,” he said. “I really like the feeling of helping and guiding people.”
To reach Campus Security, dial 3711 on any campus phone—or 651-450-3711 on other phones.
For more information about the Campus Security at Inver Hills Community College, contact:
- Tom McCluney
Safety and Security Director
- Jason Philipp
Campus Security Officer