Lieutenant Charles Spencer has seen Robert Morris University through all of its major changes. From becoming a university, to the Nicholson Center being built, to the new nursing building being constructed, Spencer has watched RMU advance for 22 years.
Originally from Coraopolis, Pa., Spencer didn’t quite begin at Robert Morris in the police department.
“Truly, I started on the grounds crew, for one summer (as) summer help. And then they put me on the cleaning crew and then I quit to go to the police academy,” said Spencer.
Spencer attended the Allegheny County Police Academy then RMU hired him to work for the police department right before he graduated out of the academy.
Before coming to RMU, he worked 10 years in loss prevention at K-Mart, serving as the security manager. Spencer was also a state constable. He has been a volunteer firefighter down in Coraopolis for 29 years, where he currently serves as the assistant fire chief.
Along with being an RMU police officer and the assistant fire chief in Coraopolis, Spencer is also a police officer for the Borough of Coraopolis.
“I got hired by Robert Morris and then a week later I got hired by Coraopolis,” said Spencer.
Everything that Spencer is doing has always been in his sights. He has known for years that this is what he wanted to do.
“It was always something I wanted to do. Every since I was a kid, I wanted to be a fireman. I wanted to be a police officer,” said Spencer.
As a lieutenant at RMU, Spencer is responsible for sending the Uniform Criminal Reports into the federal government. He also handles day-to-day operations such as scheduling for shifts, scheduling officers for overtime details, and basic officer duties such as unlocking doors.
Spencer has been with the university for quite some times and says that he has had a lot of good times here. According to him, Robert Morris was different when he started he many years ago.
“This place was different back then. A lot of buildings weren’t here and we started driving around in golf carts. They had the nature trails back there that we used to go riding along,” said Spencer. “It was different. It was fun when you came to work.”
The fun still remains all these years later. Some of the officers are known as practical jokers because they play jokes on each other, as well as Chief Mink. Spencer says that he sometimes jokes on visiting families just to get some smiles.
“The officers I’m working on daylight, like Detective Page… and the other officers—they make it fun,” said Spencer.
Detective Scott Page came to Robert Morris when Spencer was a sergeant. Now they have both moved up to detective and lieutenant respectively. The two officers like to joke around with each other since they have been working together so long.
“It’s been fun. I mean, I’ve been with him since I’ve been here in 2000,” said Page. “(W)e make the job fun… We try to make it fun, not miserable… We have the times to be serious and the time not to be.”
Spencer loves his job at Robert Morris and has stayed here since 1993 because he enjoys working here.
“Well for one, it’s a good job. The department here is a good department and we have a good group of officers, the chief. It’s enjoyable coming to work,” said Spencer.