Robert G. Sabattis, director of the Department of Public Safety at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has been named director of public safety at Lafayette. The appointment is effective Aug. 12. The announcement follows a national search to identify a successor to Hugh W. Harris, director of public safety, who is retiring after 31 years of service to the College.
Sabattis was named director of public safety at NJIT in 2007. NJIT enrolls approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students with roughly 1,700 students housed on its campus in Newark, N.J. At NJIT, Sabattis was responsible for a public safety department consisting of 72 officers, including both sworn police officers and security officers.
Sabattis said, “I am honored to have been selected as Lafayette’s director of public safety. I look forward to working with all of the campus community in keeping Lafayette a safe place to work, live, and obtain a top-quality education.”
Following a 25-year career with the Police Department of Union, N.J., from 1978 to 2003, Sabattis was a practicing attorney at two New Jersey-based law firms through 2007. In the Union Police Department, he rose from a police officer in the patrol bureau to detective, sergeant, lieutenant and, in 1997, captain. As captain, he led a staff of more than 100 serving Union’s 55,000 residents.
Sabattis earned his juris doctor degree from the School of Law at Seton Hall University. He earned his bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude, from Kean College of New Jersey while serving as a detective in the Union Police Department. Sabattis earned medals of Valor and Honor, along with commendation medals and command citations, on numerous occasions during this 25-year police career. Also a highly regarded advocate for public safety work in higher education, he served as president of the New Jersey College and University Public Safety Association.
Sabattis’ scope of responsibility will include police and security functions, investigations, emergency preparedness, environmental health and safety, and parking. Annette Diorio, vice president for campus life and senior diversity officer, said, “Public Safety will continue the close partnership it has with the Division of Campus Life and, with Bob’s appointment, will certainly build on that strong foundation fostered by Hugh over many years.”
“I am delighted that Bob will join Lafayette as director of public safety and as a member of the College’s leadership team,” added Mitchell Wein, vice president for finance and administration and treasurer. “His expertise in the use of technology and safety protocols and practices that maintain the highest standards of professionalism are perfectly in sync with the goals and expectations at Lafayette.”