The Rogers State University Police Department, Led by Chief of Police Louis Ross, is implementing numerous policing measures and training protocol to promote a safe, secure and service-oriented environment for all residents of its campus community.
“In his first 90 days on the job, Chief Ross has demonstrated his leadership by building positive relationships with internal and external stakeholders. He has established his vision and mission to proactively execute updated policy and procedures to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” Dr. Robert Goltra III, vice president for student affairs, said.
RSUPD has partnered with the Rogers County Emergency Management and City of Claremore Fire Department to assist in the revision of the Emergency Operations Plan.
“We are in the early planning stages of the revision to the EOP. The plan is designed to ensure RSU is a secure and resilient institution with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk. These revisions are needed and are key in helping us to build and sustain capabilities on all levels,” Ross said.
A more visible police presence on campus grounds was a top priority for Chief Ross. Recent studies show that safety is a major factor for students when deciding on where they will attend college or a university. With an increase police presence on campus, the university can prevent and deter any type of criminal activity before it starts.
“The Police Department plays a major part in recruitment and retention. No parent wants to send their student into an unsafe environment. If the student feels safe, they tend to do better in their studies and they will return that next semester,” Goltra said.
The addition of newly installed Traffic Speed Radar Gun technology in the patrol units has allowed the RSUPD to enforce the speed limit on campus. The posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour.
“We want to ensure members of the RSU campus can feel safe while walking, jogging, and bicycling on campus. We also want to mitigate auto-to-pedestrian, auto-to-auto and auto-to-fix-structure collisions on campus,” Ross said.
RSU began enforcing the speed limit using the radar technology last week. Drivers found in violation of the campus speed limit by the RSUPD received a written citation with a fine.
Nine out of 10 pedestrians survive when hit by a vehicle at 20 miles per hour as opposed to only a 60 percent survival rate at 30 miles per hour.
Through a collaboration between the Office of Student Affairs, Darlene Passmore-Armstrong, Volunteers for Youth, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and the RSUPD, a Prescription Medication Drop Box was delivered and installed at the RSUPD office earlier this month.
The Prescription Medication Drop Box provides members of the campus community a safe option to dispose of expired and unwanted medications. The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is responsible for collecting the medication from the drop box and transporting it to a location for disposal.
Chief Ross maintains an open-door policy to allow students the opportunity to discuss matters of confidentiality.
President of the Criminal Justice Association Zachary Kays is appreciative of the proactive efforts of the RSUPD to keep the study body safe.
“I am very grateful to Chief Ross and the officers of RSUPD that care for the safety of the students. Since Chief Ross has been on campus, I have seen an increase of police presence and involvement with the students,” Kays said. “I love RSU and I’m glad we have someone that cares about the campus and the safety of the students and faculty.”
The RSUPD’s mission is to provide a safe higher educational environment in a manner that gains and maintains approval and respect for all members of the university.
“I enjoy meeting students and getting to know them. Whenever I hear from a student, faculty, or staff that they feel safe on our three campuses, it is one of the biggest compliments to the efforts of the men and women of the RSUPD,” Ross said.
The Rogers State University Police Department is a division of the Office of Student Affairs. RSUPD is a full-time, state certified police department with officers on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. RSUPD is staffed by commissioned peace officers that meet the standards of the Oklahoma Council for Law Enforcement Education and Training.