WMU public safety named No. 3 in nation for safety initiatives

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's Department of Public Safety was recognized in late February as the No. 3 such department in the nation for its campus safety initiatives.

WMU Deputy Chief Carol Dedow at the Safe Campus Summit.

WMU Deputy Chief Carol Dedow

Deputy Chief Carol Dedow was on hand to receive the award during the National Campus Safety Summit in Las Vegas. The three-day gathering attracted university police chiefs and senior-level university administrators from around the country.

WMU's police department was one of three university forces recognized at the meeting. Kennesaw State University placed first, Old Dominion University came in second, and WMU placed third in the Department of the Year Awards. The three honorees were selected from among public safety departments at 4,706 eligible U.S. colleges and universities. The three schools lead a "top 25" list of public safety departments developed by Safe Campus, a national organization that coordinates the awards.

Linda Shaw, director of Safe Campus, noted that WMU police do an outstanding job working with area law enforcement and communicating with the University community. Specific initiatives leading to the award included newly created Facebook and Twitter pages to disseminate vital information concerning off-campus incidents to students, parents and the campus community. Additionally, the department contracted with a threat assessment company to monitor numerous social media sites for harmful or threatening information concerning the campus, students or the University community. Department responses to mental health issues and a focus on community outreach in student neighborhoods also were noted in the award citation.

The complete list of the Top 25 University Public Safety Departments as designated by Safe Campus can be found online at safecampussummit.org/2018-las-vegas-conference/top-25-university-departments.

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