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He is no longer guarding the president and dignitaries at the White House, but Richard E. Mawhorr is taking his new responsibility of protecting Anne Arundel Community College students just as seriously.

When the former Secret Service lieutenant began his job as head of security for the college last week, it was a homecoming of sorts.

Mawhorr lives only blocks away and is a 1977 graduate of the college, where he studied law enforcement. That education, coupled with experience as a military police officer in the Air Force, helped him climb the ranks in the Secret Service.

He supervised as many as 80 people in Washington, and has traveled to Ireland and France with presidents Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter.

After his retirement from the Secret Service last summer, he became head of security at The Mall in Columbia. In his new job he will supervise a staff of 11.

Seated in his small office on campus, Mawhorr discussed his new career.

"I want students to think of this as a place they can come to for help of any fashion," Mawhorr said. "I'm here to assist students the best way I can.

"We've been very fortunate that there haven't been any major problems on campus. I give a lot of credit to students here."

Mawhorr says campus crime is rare, with one exception being a burglary in the Student Services building that resulted in the loss of $100.

"The other incidents have been assorted misdemeanors, such as missing property, disorderly conduct and trespassing in areas that are off-limits or after school hours," Mawhorr said.

The security force also is known for its expertise in handing outparking tickets -- an average of 5,000 are distributed annually.

Mawhorr already is planning for the influx of students when the fall semester begins, but anticipates that his greatest problem will be what to do with all the cars. Mawhorr said he will add three officers to help during that period to supervise parking and answer student questions.

"My approach is one of open communication, totally," he said. "My primary concern is student safety, but we want to get students involved."

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