Frostburg State University Police has won the Maryland State Governor’s Crime Prevention Award for the 20th consecutive year, and this year, the FSU Student Government Association has also won the prestigious award in its first year of nomination for its SafeRide program. The awards are presented to groups or individuals who have “made outstanding contributions to the furtherance of crime prevention programming.”
FSU Student Government Association won the Governor’s Crime Prevention Award in category C, Community Groups, Organizations or Individual Citizens for its “SafeRide” program. SafeRide is a student-run program that offers other FSU students a safe, alternative ride home from any Frostburg event on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. The program is designed to promote safety and awareness to students and to encourage them not to drink and drive.
Students call the SafeRide office and speak with dispatchers. The dispatchers will then relay the call and location of the riders to the “Tag-along” riding with the van driver. The van will then stop at the designated location and offer students a free ride home. Students can also stop the van along its route and ask for a ride home. SafeRide is in its third year of operation and have given out thousands of rides to FSU students.
“SafeRide has contributed to a decrease in crime in our community. DUI numbers, along with other crimes related to alcohol abuse are significantly down,” said Sgt. T.S. Donahue of University Police.
“Alcohol is a challenge area to deal with in our community, and in any college community. The issue must be addressed from multiple angles. SafeRide is a great example of this,” said Dr. Jesse Ketterman, FSU dean of students. “The program indirectly reduced vandalism and noise on streets where students travel.
As a result, this program has been welcomed by the community and Frostburg City Police,” he said.
In addition to SafeRide, University Police is being recognized again for its impressive efforts to do its best to make sure every student in Frostburg is safe. The department was recognized under category A, Governor’s Crime Prevention Award for Law Enforcement Agencies. The department strives to educate every student on personal safety, rape prevention, drug and alcohol education, theft prevention, residential and commercial activity as well as other topics specific to college populations.
“Campus safety and educational programs do work in combating crime,” Donahue said.
FSU’s police department is considered unique in its approach to crime prevention. Instead of having an individual or division dedicated to preventing crime, every single officer is expected to educate the public – students, faculty and staff – by completing at least eight crime prevention activities each year. To ensure every student at FSU is safe, University Police takes a hands-on approach to crime prevention. Officers may be found in the classroom, heard on the airwaves, read on the Internet or seen in a demonstration.
Each year, the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute, along with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions and the Maryland Crime Prevention Association present the Annual Governor’s Crime Prevention Awards.
For more information about crime prevention activities at FSU, call University Police at 301-687-4223.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 13 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland.