MURRAY, Ky. — The Murray State University Police Department and Center for Adult and Regional Education were named first in the nation for campus safety initiatives with both University units receiving the 2018 Department of the Year award from Safe Campus.
Safe Campus recognizes outstanding achievement by administrative departments. Both the Police Department and the Center for Adult and Regional Education were nominated based on their efforts and improvements in campus safety. All 4,706 accredited higher-education institutions across the U.S. were eligible for consideration. Both Murray State units will be recognized in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the National Campus Safety Summit in February.
“This recognition is particularly meaningful in that it recognizes our continued commitment towards campus safety, as well as the collaboration between two departments, for the betterment of Murray State University,” said Murray State Interim President Bob Jackson.
A collaboration in 2017 between the Murray State Police Department and the Center for Adult and Regional Education led to the development of a centralized communications calendar and updated procedural plan specific to external groups who visit campus for various programs and camps. The collaboration also included senior leadership within the University as well as the establishment of a committee in which multiple campus units were represented to assess and implement these changes.
The Murray State Police Department is staffed 24/7 to protect and serve the University and includes 16 sworn officers and 24 support staff. All officers are certified through the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training with officers spending six months in the Kentucky Law Enforcement Basic Training Academy in Richmond, Kentucky, before receiving their certifications. The department is accredited through the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police and has been accredited since 2007.
The department provides a variety of important services to assist the campus community. These include the Racer Alert emergency communications system and the promotion and use of the LiveSafe app in addition to providing resources for faculty, staff and students — particularly for incoming students through the Great Beginnings new student orientation programs.
The University’s Center for Adult and Regional Education serves the unique needs of adult and non-traditional learners through program offerings and services available on the Murray State campus and regional campus sites in Paducah, Madisonville, Hopkinsville, Henderson and Fort Campbell. The center also coordinates many of Murray State’s summer youth programs, contracted camps and other events that welcome thousands of visitors to campus each year.
“We welcome many youth and other guests throughout the year, and we were happy to work collaboratively to put these new policies in place to make Murray State University a safer place for all,” said Dan Lavit, executive director for the Center for Adult and Regional Education.
“As higher education faces increasing budgetary challenges, innovative ideas and partnerships among departments will be the way that top-tier universities set themselves apart,” said Murray State Chief of Police Jamie Herring. “That collaborative spirit certainly exists here at Murray State.”