“Over the years as a campus law enforcement administrator I found probably the best way to gauge a schools commitment to safety and security is to see who the Campus Police Chief reports to in the school chain of command”
Over the last several weeks I have written several blogs related to evaluating campus security programs and what to look for when selecting a college. However, while evaluating a schools safety and security systems is nice probably a better way to assess a given school’s commitment to a solid safety and security program is whether they put their money where their mouth is and whether the Chief of their department has some clout.
According to Campus Safety magazine a college or university should dedicate approximately 2.5-3% of its annual budget to police and security. These budget expenditures should include training, vehicles, equipment, uniforms, physical facilities, technology, and of course salaries. As with any department the largest expenditure goes to salaries. No technology or procedure can replace a dedicated campus police officer or security officer so investigate whether the officers are compatibly paid compared to other police departments in the area. If a college wants to attract and retain professional officers they must be willing to dedicate dollars to meet competitive salaries and benefits. These dollars are invaluable when trouble strikes… it is the officer that responds to your need and helps you navigate your crisis that makes all the difference in the world!
Finally, I found probably the best way to gauge a schools commitment to safety and security is to see who the Police Chief, Director of Security, or Public Safety Director reports to in the school chain of command. While they may not report directly to the President they should be reporting to a member of senior leadership for the college. If a Chief is more than 2 tiers below the leadership team then that may be some indicator as to how important campus security is to the college leadership team and that might just help you make a final choice of which college to attend next year.
For Safety Solutions 4Schools this is Wayne Silcox
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