Bill Bessette Comes to CSM from Hopkinsville Community College in Kentucky
The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) has named Bill Bessette of Mechanicsville as the college’s new executive director of Public Safety and Preparedness.
In this position, Bessette is responsible for the overall protection of life and property at all four CSM campuses. The job requires strategic planning, project management, developing and coordinating the college’s emergency preparedness plan and establishing and nurturing contacts within and outside the college to prevent and solve problems. Bessette will also be asked to create programs in support of safety and emergency preparedness.
“My primary goal is to foster an environment that ensures public safety, but also an individual’s sense of well-being,” Bessette said. “It is vital that all members of our campus community feel represented and heard and, in turn, feel safe. As a department, we will be approachable and responsive to all members of our community.”
CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy welcomed Bessette to his new position at the college. “The safety of our students, staff and visitors is a priority,” Murphy said. “CSM is committed to being prepared to deal effectively with emergency situations. This commitment requires a sizable investment in planning, communication and resources, and we are pleased to have someone of Bill Bessette’s caliber leading us in this critical responsibility.”
Bessette comes to CSM after serving as the Director of Safety and Security at Hopkinsville Community College in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. His professional background also includes experience as a police sergeant in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He has worked in uniform patrol, as a robbery investigator and as a member of a DUI task force. He is also a certified gang investigator and an active shooter instructor.
Bessette said the environment of the CSM campuses was what attracted him to his new position. “Everyone was so upbeat and committed to the mission of the college that it made the decision an easy one,” he said.
Public safety issues are increasingly critical and pervasive and Bessette encourages public engagement in these concerns. “Students, staff and community members can help by simply becoming involved. Campus safety is a group effort so community participation is critical to our success,” Bessette said. “Remember the adage ‘If you see something, say something.’”
Bessette earned a bachelor of arts in psychology from Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa, and a master of public administration from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont.
For information about CSM’s Public Safety Department as well as crime prevention tips, visit http://ready.csmd.edu/PublicSafety/.