by Lauren Schuster, Senior Writer
You’re coming back from class and swipe into your residence hall. It’s a part of your routine that you might not give any extra thought, but if you look up and see a smiling woman with colorful hair, that’s Public Safety Officer Linda Laboy letting you know she’s there to keep you safe. A proud New Yorker from Queens, Laboy began her career as a public safety officer at Manhattan College 13 years ago.
Over the years, Laboy has naturally seen and handled many different types of situations on MC’s campus. Her favorite story, however, involves not a student or faculty member, but a lost dog.
“One of the RDs found [the dog],” Laboy said. “It did not have a collar or any other identification. Public Safety kept it outside of Lee Hall.”
But this wasn’t just any dog, as Laboy soon found out.
“The dog was very anxious and not approachable,” Laboy said. “It was a rescue dog. It turned out the owners just got him that same day. I spent half of the day with him until the owners were found.”
It is little moments of compassion like this one that demonstrate exactly how willing Laboy is to go above and beyond for her job. Caring for lost rescue dogs is certainly not in her job description, but she always rises to the occasion whenever she is needed. When discussing why she wanted to become a public safety officer, her reasoning was simple.
“I enjoy helping people and giving back,” Laboy said.
While many MC students might not pay much attention to public safety unless they are in an emergency situation, the students are the public safety officers’ top priority every moment that they are on the job.
“We’re completely approachable,” Laboy said. “Don’t mind some of our officers’ faces, they just might be sleepy. We are definitely approachable and are here to help.”
For Laboy, the best thing about working at Manhattan is the people that make up the Jasper community. The sense of community the campus provides is one of the many qualities that led to Laboy’s desire to begin working at the college 13 years ago.
“[I liked] the location, size of the school, [that it] has a nice community feel to it, and of course the Manhattan College reputation,” Laboy said.
Laboy has a range of many different duties as a public safety officer, which start when she arrives on campus early in the morning.
“When I first get here I punch in and receive my gear,” Laboy said. “Then the first hour is opening the campus.”
This includes making sure all walkways, elevators and doorways are ready for everyone to come onto campus for classes and activities.
“After that, my day consists of patrols and meal breaks for other guards, responding to any calls that come in, walking around campus, helping out with any families coming to campus for admissions events and directing traffic for any events happening on campus,” Laboy said.
While Laboy’s days are often busy, she still finds ways to enjoy the little moments thanks to her positive attitude, which can even be found in her favorite snack.
“[I like to eat] Goldfish [on duty], because they smile as they’re about to be eaten,” Laboy said.
Above all, Laboy hopes that MC’s students know they always have someone looking out for their safety who’s ready to lend a hand in any way they can.