Campus Faces

She talks as fast as she runs, and that's pretty fast. Maybe that's how campus police officer Jennifer Malloy crams so much into her life.

Jenn has worked for the Office of Campus Safety for about two years, patrolling campus on the 11:00 p.m.-to-7:00 a.m. shift weekdays and every other weekend.

On her free weekends, except in winter, she runs 5Ks and 10Ks. Many of these are in the Lehigh Valley, but at least once a month Jenn heads for a race in Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Jersey, or somewhere else out of the area.

And she spends some of her spare hours working on a degree in English education with a minor in psychology. She has taken classes at Moravian, at Lehigh Carbon Community College, and at De Sales University. "I'm about 10 to 12 classes out from finishing," she says.

In addition, Jenn keeps up her credentials in her field. She is certified as a crime prevention officer. She has trained as a RAD (rape aggressive defense) officer. She spent a day last summer at Lafayette College learning about police work with gangs. "This will help," she says, "with the way we interact with the city." She plans on further training in gang control at Fort Indiantown Gap and advanced certification in RAD this summer in Tampa, Florida.

In addition to patrol duty, Jenn would like to offer sessions on campus in alcohol awareness for students, especially first-year students. From a female standpoint, she says, "there's definitely a problem" with date rape, made possible by drug or alcohol consumption.

"I've done it, I've been there," she says ruefully. "What I once would've done, there's no way I'd do that now!"

Jenn is from Houston, Texas, and there's a cop strain in her genes. "In Texas, you're either a car salesman or a police officer," she says, her Texas accent clipped off by her crisp speech. Her uncle is a Texas state trooper, and two cousins are police officers. (Her father is the car salesman.) That's how she got into the business. Her boyfriend is a police officer in Stroudsburg. To qualify as a police officer, she went to the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission Academy at Lackawanna College in Scranton, which she says requires more hours of class (772, to be exact) and field work than all but one other in the United States. She started as a part-time officer in Summit Hill in 2001, working her way to the College through a friend who was employed in Moravian's Campus Safety Office.

It was police work that got her started running. The physical training tests require aspiring officers to sprint and to be able to run a mile.

Jenn prefers distances. She competes in events such as the Runners World half-marathon (13.1 miles), which she ran in 2 hours and 23 minutes. She also has run in the state's Police Olympics, where she won a silver medal in the 5K. And because races are often fund-raisers, she has run for POW/MIAs, for arthritis, for human rights, and for many other causes. "I never realized how many of those are out there!" she says of the world of amateur running.

As with most runners, she's had her share of injuries: a twisted ankle in the Police Olympics, two stress fractures when training for a marathon. So she pays a great deal of attention to her training, working in several distances: long distances of five or six miles, sprints, and 30 minutes of "pure hills" at all her practices. She calls the hills "'the Stairmaster of running" and says they train your stamina.

Looking back at her time in the half-marathon, she says: "I want to cut off those 23 minutes."

P.S. Just last month in Baltimore, Jenn ran the half-marathon in 2 hours and 5 minutes.


Photo courtesy of brightroom.com