When trouble occurs in any community, city departments are in place to ensure a safe environment. At Colorado State University, that is where CSU campus security comes in.
“The CSU Police Department is made up of sworn officers,” said Mike Hooker, CSU executive director of public affairs and communications. “They have all the professional law enforcement roles that officers have in any police department.”
CSU police officers complete at least 860 hours of training in a state-certified police academy and field-training program in preparation for their jobs, according to the CSU Fire and Safety Report.
Along with campus police, the Public Safety Team plays a role in keeping campus safe.
“The last training we did with the Public Safety Team involved looking at various types of potential safety scenarios and the nuances of how to best communicate with campus, including the requirements of the Clery Act,” CSU Chief of Police Scott Harris wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Coordinating and leading emergency crisis, education and training, safety strategies, disaster safety and preparedness are only a few of the Public Safety Team’s responsibilities, Hooker said.
“The Public Safety Team combines the professionalism of the CSU Police Department with other campus functions that are critical to safety, such as facilities, communications, housing, student affairs, the President’s office and others, to make sure that we are taking a comprehensive approach to the safety and security of our campus community,” Harris wrote.
The CSU Fire and Safety Report states that the “Campus Safety Officers, student employees in ‘soft uniforms,'” round out security and safety services by adding foot patrol and event management capabilities.
These employees receive more than 50 hours of training relevant to their duties, with additional training as they take on specialized duties. Campus Safety Officers are trained civilian employees who are an additional presence on campus and provide the Safe Walk Program.
Tabletop exercises — simulating a situation and going through the steps that would need to happen in a variety of situations — are one important part of campus security training.
“One recent training was a break-in fire and terrorist threat combined situation,” Hooker said. “Other exercises have been active shooters and disaster/ flood situations.”
According to the requirements of the Clery Act, the CSU Police Department is responsible for releasing campus crime statistics to the University community, including reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by CSU. The act also requires that the University community be informed on important procedures, policies and crime prevention programs.
“My role on the Public Safety Team has do to with the communication side and getting the message out to campus,” Hooker said. “As another example, the police chief brings the perspective of the head of the CSU police department.”
Hooker said the Public Safety Team and police work to make sure CSU is complying with the act while responding to the situation. That includes notifying campus when there is an immediate threat to health and safety.
“This whole group of people is really dedicated to security on campus,” Hooker said. “There’s a lot of effort and attention that goes into making sure that campus is safe.”
Collegian Reporter Ashley Haberman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AshleyNicoleHab.