Keeping campus safe

The University of Missouri Police Department works around the clock to maintain an environment that is safe and ideal for learning.

Sept. 21, 2021
Contact: Sara Diedrich, 573-882-3243, diedrichs@missouri.edu

  • This is an image of a police officer talking to an adult.
    Officer Jacob Clifford is among the 90% of MUPD officers on the street who have completed a 40-hour crisis intervention training program that helps them assist students who are struggling with mental health issues.

As the academic year gets underway, it’s important to know the University of Missouri Police Department works year-round to maintain a safe and secure campus. On a typical day, about 45,000 faculty, staff, students and visitors come to the university campus.

Chief Brian Weimer said MUPD uses a community policing philosophy when patrolling campus, utilizing foot and bicycle patrol along with staffing sub stations to build face-to-face relationships as well as forge strong campus partnerships aimed at solving problems and maintaining public safety.

“We work closely with campus organizations, student groups, and members of the community to build relationships that benefit everyone by sharing information and problem solving,” he said.

Additionally, MUPD uses a variety of methods, including social media, to engage with the campus community to share information and gather input. Patrol officers at MUPD work the same shift for at least a year and are assigned specific areas on campus to monitor and respond to calls.

“That way they become familiar faces in the campus community and are not simply showing up when something is wrong,” Weimer said.

MUPD generally has up to 50 commissioned officers, eight security officers, 14 dispatchers/records staff, two administrative staff and between 15 – 50 (seasonally dependent) part-time campus safety officers.

  • This is an image of a police officer with tailgaters.
    Dustin Colter, a security guard with MUPD, directs traffic before a Tiger home game. MUPD works with many other area law enforcement agencies to tackle safety challenges and keep traffic flowing on game days.

Among the officers is the Crime Prevention Unit, which offers a proactive approach to law enforcement through a variety of education and training programs on community, personal and property safety and security. These are the officers who share an overview of MUPD and the services it offers with new students during Summer Welcome.

Anyone who has attended a Citizens Response to Active Threats (C.R.A.T.) class or a personal safety presentation has most likely met the crime prevention unit: Officer James Young, Officer Joan Haaf and Officer Jacob Clifford. Haaf also is the handler for MUPD’s K-9 officer Brass, a seven-year-old German shepherd, who joined the agency in 2015.

“Our crime prevention unit is the most visible unit within our agency,” Weimer said. “But of course, all our officers are tasked with helping to educate our campus community on expectations and various crime prevention strategies.”

Among the programs and presentations provided by the crime prevention are sexual assault awareness, education and prevention; alcohol awareness; drug awareness; identity theft prevention, campus safety and security surveys.

Additionally, MUPD has made Crisis Intervention Training a top priority for its officers, helping them recognize and deal with students who are facing mental health problems. During CIT training, officers meet victims of mental health crises and learn how to talk with someone who may need help; how to de-escalate a volatile situation; and how to come up with a plan to help. MUPD is a member of the Mid-Missouri CIT Council which includes local law enforcement agencies and several community health and mental health providers.

Since 2001, MUPD has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). Of the 14 institutions in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), eight are accredited with CALEA and of those eight agencies, five also are accredited with IACLEA, which includes MUPD. During the last three accreditation cycles (9 years), MUPD has received the award for “Accreditation With Excellence,” which is specifically designed for elite organizations striving to demonstrate professional excellence within a comprehensive range of operational and administrative responsibilities.

Finally, MUPD has certified instructors who teach several self-defense courses, including one course designed for women called Basic Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.). The classes are free and open to faculty, staff, students and the general public. While there are self-defense courses for all genders, R.A.D. is by far the most popular at MU. The 13-hour course begins with three to four hours of classroom work followed by hands-on techniques and a series of dynamic simulations exercises.

Interested in joining the team? MUPD offers a variety of full-time employment opportunities, as well as part-time positions suitable for student workers and/or community members.

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