Frostburg State’s University’s Police Department has won the Maryland State Governor’s Crime Prevention Award for the 15th time since 1990. FSU Police won the award under category A, which includes efforts on all fronts of crime prevention. The purpose of this award, as stated by the award application, is “to recognize those departments who have incorporated an overall outstanding crime prevention program as an integral part of their daily operations.”
“We don't have an officer assigned to crime prevention; all 16 of us are crime prevention officers, and the award recognizes our daily efforts to make FSU as safe as possible,” states Brian Shanley, FSU’s Chief of Police.
In order to win this category A award, FSU Police implemented personal, residential and commercial security programs, as well as provided crime prevention training and public information/media activities, officer recognition for crime prevention and support for the National Crime Prevention “McGruff” campaign.
The many different personal security programs from the FSU Police Department include presentations regarding safety on the streets and on campus. The department also used print materials to supplement personal protection efforts. The materials focused on issues such as ATM safety and car theft. Other presentations over the past year focused on informing the public about rape and sexual assault, youth crime prevention, and drug abuse prevention.
“Whether it involves drug and alcohol education, personal safety instruction, rape and sexual assault prevention, or even just keeping property safe, we have an eager audience, all of whom are here to learn, and many of whom are away from home for the first time,” says Shanley.
FSU Police also worked to increase residential security programs. The department coordinates a neighborhood watch, which includes 9 “Night Assistants” who act as the eyes and ears of the police department when officers can’t be there. The “Night Assistants” are equipped with police radios and are trained to tend to common situations such as theft.
According to Chief Shanley, “Theft is by far the most likely form of victimization our students face. Cash, books, laundry, computers, stereos, electronic game boxes and CDs are all likely theft items.”
In order to prevent theft, FSU police inform students about the need to lock doors whenever they leave their rooms, identifying strangers, marking property, cooperating with dorm security procedures and general awareness. The third major category the police department worked on last year was commercial security programs.
In order to fulfill the requirements for commercial security programs, the FSU police department offered training and planning presentations for university employees. The department also used e-mail as a means to inform the campus community about crime prevention. Also, 5 additional “blue light emergency phones” have been added on campus. These phones have been strategically placed around campus to certain locations where they will be most useful for students, visitors and faculty.
When asked about future crime prevention efforts on campus, Shanley stated, “We try not to repeat the past. New ideas, new opportunities and new technologies are always presenting themselves.”
For more information contact the FSU Police Department at 301-687-4205.