The National Campus Safety Summit has named Missouri University of Science and Technology Police Department to its Safe Campus Top 25 list, a list of 25 universities that are making a difference in student safety. Missouri S&T, which ranked 20th, is the only Missouri University to be ranked.
Departments in the ranking were recognized for having increased the safety and security of their campus community during 2018.
“We are very fortunate to be on a campus and part of a university system that supports law enforcement and campus safety and security,” says Missouri S&T Police Chief Doug Roberts. “Our department is a true team, and we are proud to be a part of this campus, the University of Missouri System and the Rolla first-responder community.”
Two years ago, Missouri S&T implemented internal and external changes to incorporate emerging technology into current policing efforts.
Implemented changes include staffing a 24-7 police department, raising officer visibility on campus by requiring two hours of foot patrol per shift for every officer and the chief, adding a bicycle patrol during evening and overnight shifts, and including officers on campus committees and working groups.
The department also more than tripled its student security guard staff, and added several international students to help increase the feeling of security among Missouri S&T’s international community.
Missouri S&T was the first campus in the University of Missouri System to bring a campus security application – Rave Guardian. The app, which is an add-on to the university’s emergency mass notification system, allows users to communicate with University Police through text or phone and provides a phone list and access to emergency instructions. It can also use a phone’s location services to allow users’ contacts to virtually accompany them on walks or travel. Rave Guardian is an add-on program to the university’s current mass notification system.
Missouri S&T recently enabled an opt-in program that will allow campus visitors, vendors and guests to receive all mass notification messages during their time on campus.
Until last year, the university had no reliably monitored security cameras. S&T is currently in the third and final phase of a system that now provides more than 150 cameras on campus that are monitored by University Police 24/7. Camera views are also shared with the local 911 call center.
“By the end of 2018, more than 200 cameras will be operating on campus,” Roberts says. “We are also adding a card access control system that will let police staff working in the operations room to monitor and remotely lock or unlock any door controlled by the new system by using a mapping program.”
To help teach the campus community how to handle an active shooter situation, University Police teamed with Missouri S&T’s marketing and communications department to produce a video based on the Run-Hide-Fight method. The video was filmed on location at Missouri S&T using, staff, students and faculty.
The video is now used as a training tool during department meetings and shown in classrooms by faculty members.
“The result of these and other changes and improvements is an increased confidence in the police department by the campus constituents and the local law enforcement community as well as a feeling of achievement and pride by the police department staff,” Roberts says.