The Wake Tech College Police Department, established in 2012, is a fully-sanctioned law enforcement agency dedicated to protecting the life and property of students, faculty, staff and visitors on all Wake Tech campuses. The 17 institutions in the University of North Carolina System have their own police forces, along with 14 other community colleges across the state and most private universities in Wake County.
The department is led by Chief Michael Penry, and its sworn officers have full powers of arrest pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 115D-21.1 and enforce federal, state and local laws, along with certain college policies.
Wake Tech also employs security guards who have been trained and authorized by the North Carolina Private Protective Services Bureau and have completed extensive on-the-job training at Wake Tech. They enhance campus safety by monitoring fire alarms and intrusion detection, providing escorts, searching for safety hazards and offering motor vehicle assistance and other services as needed. They are certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and to use an automated external defibrillator and are equipped to handle illness and injury until further medical care is available. Many are certified medical responders.
College Police officers and security guards patrol Wake Tech campuses and work with emergency responders that have local jurisdiction – law enforcement, fire services and emergency medical services – to respond to campus emergencies. Wake Tech also employs an Environmental Health and Safety officer who oversees worker safety and provides environmental protection for the college.
Wake Tech encourages the practice of community policing on all of its campuses and centers. We recognize that safety is a shared responsibility and that we all play a role in maintaining a safe and secure environment. College Police expect all members of the college community to use common sense, to be vigilant and aware of surroundings and to report suspicious activity of any kind. Anyone who becomes aware of a crime or other serious incident should call 919-866-5911 as soon as possible so that Wake Tech police and security personnel can take appropriate action. The Communications Center is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for emergencies and non-emergency assistance.
Michael Allen Penry was sworn in as Wake Tech's first police chief on May 4, 2012. A former Wake County deputy, Penry previously served as a school resource officer at Centennial Campus and Daniels middle schools in Raleigh.
Prior to his career in law enforcement, he coordinated international mission trips and helped organize humanitarian relief efforts for local churches.
He has an undergraduate degree in religion from High Point University and a master's degree in intercultural studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest.