NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

NECC welcomes new director of public safety

Deborah Crafts was recently hired at NECC

Northern Essex introduces a new position this year that was recently filled by Deborah Crafts, who has been hired as the Director of Public Safety.

Crafts has had a variety of experience from Northeastern University where she worked for the Northeastern police department full time while still attending as a student.

Prior to joining the Northern Essex staff she also had prior experience working at Bentley University and MassBay Community College as a temporary director.

Crafts states that the position  at Northern Essex interested her because she “really enjoys working at a community college.”

She is particularly excited about this position because she gets to create her own department from scratch.

photo of debra standing in the public safety office Photo courtesy of NECC Newsroom

New NECC Director of Public Safety Deborah Crafts

Crafts is entering this school year full of ideas.


When asked about any potential changes she’d implement on campus she replied, “One of the first things I would do is ask you, what do you think is needed here. And that’s what I’m doing right now, is I’m really talking to people. I’ve been here two months and there are people who have been here for years. I’ve been at seven institutions and they’re all different, and have different needs, so generally speaking right now I am just going out and searching for what people want on campus.”

Not only is Crafts looking to keep both the Haverhill and Lawrence Campuses safe, but she says, “philosophically, we’re in an educational institution so part of my role is to educate, so that students not only feel safe here, but also feel safe at home or at your first job.”

She is aiming to implement workshops and informal events for students and faculty to provide tips and tools so that everyone feels control of their safety.

She also wants the public safety department to be a space for students to go to if they feel unsafe about any aspect of their lives whether it be at school or at home.

According to Crafts,  smaller changes can make big differences on campus, like communicating with one another if someone sees something that seems out of place.

One of the first things I would do is ask you, what do you think is needed here. And that’s what I’m doing right now, is I’m really talking to people….
Deborah Crafts

Eventually she would like to implement access control, where students are able to enter buildings with their ID cards as a form of access.

She says she would also like to see more forms of security in and around the buildings and staff who can stay vigilant of areas as well as educating and preparing students.

Northern Essex has also issued a new Public Safety Space in the Spurk building in room 110.

The room next door will be the Public Safety Communications Office and will be equipped with video feed, and emergency backup power.

Crafts is hoping to include a centralized form of communication in which someone would be in the communications office throughout the day to answer calls as a dispatcher would, inc ase of an emergency.

Students also have the freedom to contact the Public Safety Office if they feel they need an escort to their car.

Many students attend night classes or stay on campus during later hours and therefore can have security walk them over to their vehicle.

Northern Essex will be releasing their annual security report, also known as a Clery report on October 1, which provides any crime statistics on campus.

Students have full access to this report and should update their knowledge of campus crime.

Students should always remain aware of checking any emails regarding the Public Safety Department. To report a medical or safety emergency on campus, students should dial 911 as well as notify the Public Safety Office by calling (978)-566-333 or ext 333 from an on campus phone