Get to Know: Frank in Campus Safety

Frank Ziegler

Frank Ziegler

Alicia Stavitzki, Reporter

   Campus Safety Officer Frank Ziegler had always wanted to work on a campus, but not in security.

   He graduated from Mansfield University with a degree in education. He then became a police officer and served almost 38 years on the force.

   “I specialized in elementary education, and I tried getting a teaching job for a number of years, but I just couldn’t get one,” said Ziegler.

   Before going into police work, Ziegler was a student teacher for a semester at Wellsboro Elementary in Tioga County.

   “I taught a second grade class, then a sixth grade class. I really enjoyed it. I liked teaching, but it’s just that the prospects in this area were so poor. There were so few jobs,” he said.

   Mr. Ziegler got his first job on the force at Harveys Lake.

   “I was sitting there one day reading the paper, and I saw an advertisement for the police department at Harveys Lake and I thought, why not? So I took the Civil Service test. I ended up number one on the list out there, and they hired me,” he said.

   After working for both Harveys Lake and Lake Lehman police departments, Ziegler served as a DARE officer for 20 years with the Kingston Township Police Department. DARE is a nationwide drug awareness program that police officers teach to school children.

   He once considered working as a teacher at the Dallas Area School District because of his teaching the DARE program there.

   “I thought to myself, do I want to do this now? This is going back about 15 years. In essence, I would have had to start all over again in a different career path, and go from basic police work to education, which I didn’t do since I student taught 25 years prior,” he said.

   But Ziegler said he truly enjoyed the unpredictability of every day on the job.

   “You could go weeks and not really deal with anything crazy, then all of a sudden you don’t have time to stop for a cup of coffee. Every day is slightly different, and for me, it makes my job fun.”

   Mr. Ziegler finds it almost the same today, as a Campus Safety officer.

   “You’re not stuck doing one thing all the time. You have a general idea of what’s going to happen, but not the exact thing. That would drive some people crazy, but I like it,” he said.

   “We are the people that respond to certain types of emergencies. We also check to make sure things in the buildings are relatively okay. At this time of the year, we look for things like icy sidewalks, so we can get a hold of somebody in the grounds department to put down rock salt,” said Ziegler.

   Ziegler’s favorite part of the job is patrolling campus.

   “You get to walk and see the different personalities that bounce in and out from the students. It’s a lot of fun getting to interact with the students, faculty and staff.”

   He said he loves his job on campus – even if it isn’t the type he originally planned.

   “All of the students I found to be very respectful and courteous and funny and look at me with my weird sense of humor when I make a comment. I can actually say I enjoy it here.”

   He offered a bit of advice, too, that students can use when life throws a curveball.

   “You can’t take everything in life too seriously. The key to life is having fun. There are things you have to take seriously, but there are times when you just have to blow it off,” Ziegler said.