Long time campus security official Paul Kosel retires

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By Trent Ostrom
CONTRIBUTOR

imgresIt takes a mastermind to maintain the chaos that can occur on your average college campus. The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Manager of Campus Security Paul Kosel has retired after 40 years of service.

Kosel began as an interim security guard in 1975 and was promoted to full-time security in 1977. The campus was much different when Kosel first began.

“The library was the furthest west the campus extended and we didn’t have a south campus at the time,” Kosel said. “The alumni building was half the size of the one we have now and houses surrounded the west side of the campus.”

Since he was hired full-time, Kosel has been promoted on multiple occasions. Kosel worked his way up to lieutenant, assistant manager and then manager of campus security.

Kosel said during his time at UNO, the growth of the campus affected the type of work he did each day.

“When I first started we were a commuter campus so students would arrive around 6 a.m. and would be gone by 11 p.m.”  Kosel said. “Typically only a few security guards, custodians and occasion-ally a few professors would be on campus after 11.”

When UNO began building dorms, Kosel dealt with what he would call typical college campus problems.

“When the dorms were built we started to run into alcohol violations and visitors for the first time,” Kosel said. “With students always being present on campus, we adjusted where each of the officers were located and how we could best serve the students.”

In his time at UNO, Kosel saw multiple politicians come through. He helped provide security for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Vice President Al Gore, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and the
President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai. Karzai visited UNO in 2005 to receive an honorary degree.

“When Karzai came to campus it was unlike anything I ever had to do before,” Kosel said. “We shut down multiple buildings, had security guards follow him wherever he went and guided traffic as he moved about campus.”

Kosel walked the campus regularly and was always curious to see what was going on.

“I always enjoyed walking through buildings like HPER or the Milo Bail Student Center where activities were always going on,” Kosel said. “Being in the middle of something happening for the students was al-ways an exciting atmosphere.”

Toward the end of his career at UNO, Kosel saw the advancements of technology and how they could be applied to security.

“When Mammel was built it was the first building that had card readers for access,” Kosel said. “It was a great tool at the time and luckily all of the buildings now have this feature.”

A lot has changed for UNO since Kosel has been with the university. His transition is another happen-ing in the never-ending cycle of change. He says he plans to take a step back and relax.

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