‘We’re All in This Together’: WCU Police Department Welcomes Six New Officers

wcu police department
Image via West Chester University.
From left: Captain Robert Herzog and Remi, safety dog; Ofc. Kevin Skymba; Ofc. Lorenzo Giannandrea; Ofc. Jeffrey Shumate; Director and Chief of Police Ray Stevenson; Ofc. Peter Gardner; Ofc. Christopher Traini; Ofc. Matthew Lanshe; and Lieutenant Laura McGill.

The West Chester University Police Department recently welcomed six new police officers in a special ceremony to recognize their commitment to strengthening relationships within the educational community while protecting the rights of all people.

WCU Director and Chief of Police Ray Stevenson formally welcomed and presented the department’s newest officers to an audience comprised of family members, friends, and university staff. Having received their police commissions the week of June 7, the six officers recognized were Christopher Traini, Peter Gardner, Lorenzo Giannandrea, Matthew Lanshe, Jeffrey Shumate, and Kevin Skymba.

“We are very excited to have found officers who believe in what we are trying to do in this department — build meaningful relationships with students, faculty, and staff,” said Stevenson, a veteran police officer who has been with the university for 31 years and who was promoted to the rank of chief in June 2020.

“It will continue to be important to gain the trust of students, faculty, and staff through increased community engagement,” Stevenson told the officers. “This means treating people the way that you want to be treated. Always remember that we are all in this together.”

The occasion was the first time in the department’s history that six new officers were hired all at one time.

“The hiring of these officers has been quite intentional,” Stevenson said. “It is very hard to be a police officer right now, and we need those who welcome reaching out to the members of our community and working together to open the lines of communication, so all of us can remain safe. We want students to know that we are here for them, first and foremost. We support them and will do whatever we can to keep them safe. The focus of our department is community engagement, and we are committed.”

The West Chester University Police Department collaborates often with the West Chester Police Department in the Borough of West Chester on initiatives designed to curtail crime. WCU’s Police Department employs 26 full-time commissioned police officers who have received their primary training under the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Act (PA Act 120). This is the same training that is required of all municipal police officers throughout Pennsylvania. Police officers on campus participate in annual in-service training according to PA Act 180.