YourLocalSecurity.com named FIT the safest college in America for 2021 (the most recent year available), based on statistics for violent crime, property crime, hate crime, and violence against women. That same year, FIT was the third-safest college in New York State, according to Safe at Last.
These stellar stats are due in part to the efforts of FIT’s Department of Public Safety, under the leadership of director Mario Cabrera. Though most are employed by Arrow Security, and contracted by FIT, Public Safety officers are familiar figures on campus, interacting daily with community members and visitors on matters large and small. Many officers have logged years of service to FIT. Their contributions to campus life have sometimes been taken for granted—but no longer.
On January 13, FIT held its first Public Safety Excellence Awards to recognize officers in categories such as Officers of the Year, Student Life Excellence, and Residential Life Excellence. Retirees were also honored.
Cabrera said the event “celebrated the dedication and achievements” of the officers. “In a profession with notoriously high turnover, we have officers that have stood the test of time,” he said.
President Joyce F. Brown paid tribute to the security force as frontline workers who enabled the campus to operate during the pandemic, and praised their “steadfast commitment to their jobs and the FIT community.” She presented the Public Safety Excellence Award to two retirees, Mohammed Ahmed, an officer for 31 years; and Locham Jaikaran, who served for 11.
Deputy Director Ishmael Kwawununu, who organized the event, said all the officers were “very excited” to be recognized, and many brought their families to celebrate with them. They were proud that Dr. Brown had attended. “This event is momentous for us and our families,” he said. “This job is not easy. We’re keeping FIT safe in one of the biggest cities in the world.”