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Assessment Results

Clarion Department of Public Safety

Executive Summary - 2012 Operational Review

Overview:  Chief Reid has made many improvements exampled by her securing new police cars, new weapons and new uniforms, in the process creating new expectations for all members of the department, particularly the requirement for a professional police standard at all times.  All in all the Clarion Department of Public Safety appears healthy and improving at a consistent rate.  This is particularly impressive given the difficult economic times in which it has been required to operate.

Opportunities for Improvement:

1.    Staffing

a.    The staffing should be reviewed in light of average officer/student ratios at schools of similar size, considering the resources available.

b.     Consideration should be given to creating an assistant director or deputy chief position. 

c.    Consider developing a deployment strategy to best use the officers available.

2.    Chain of command structure and respective responsibilities:  These should be reviewed with each officer so there is a balanced approach between strategic and tactical efforts, as well as between daily operations and administrative functions.

3.    Training & Evaluation

a.    Consideration should be given to developing a training strategy for all members of the department of to create clear expectations for carrying out the University's Mission & Value statements, recently created university strategic goals and the police department manual. 

b.    Consider hosting training to save money and sending officers to train the trainer options.

c.     Consider reviewing officer orientation to make sure all are aware of institutional and departmental policies and procedures. 

d.    Review the job performance evaluation tool and educate officers on how to succeed. Make the performance review meaningful with clearly established professional development goals for each officer.

4.    Community/Regional Associations:

Consider having the department participate in local, regional, county law enforcement associations to develop positive relations and share information and announcements of upcoming events on campus that can impact traffic and the community.

5.    Feedback:  Share survey data from the internal review of Finance and Administration. 

6.    Meetings and Other Information Sharing

a.    Consider holding quarterly meetings to discuss budget, current campus concerns and departmental issues. 

b.    Consider creating a newsletter or other form of providing essential information in writing, to the department.

7.    Change Facilitator:  Consider contracting with an outside facilitator to discuss change. 

8.    Facilities:

a.    Consider relocating the department to an additional square footage facility.

b.    Consider moving a portion of the department into another location within close proximity of the existing building.

9.    Dispatch:  Consider creating a policy where the dispatch center is either continually open to receive requests and complaints or contract the dispatch functions out to a third party.

10.  Conclusion

a.    Strengths: Overall, the Clarion University Police Department is highly respected by members of the Clarion University community. Officers are regarded as professional and well prepared, and solid positive working relationships are in place with Student and Judicial Affairs, Campus Drug & Alcohol, Campus Counseling Services, Student Development, and Greek Life. It was also reported by university employees that there has been a positive trend in how officers relate to students, and that there is an established presence of police on campus with foot and vehicle patrol.

b.    Challenges:  There exists no organization in which all of the members are always satisfied or pleased with the direction or the decisions. All groups experience strife and stress.  Trainings, meetings, informal and formal social gatherings and conversations are all avenues to establish trust, expand knowledge, and remove the unknown.  Law enforcement officers are trained to adopt a mindset of expecting the unexpected, planning for the worst and hoping for the best.  Where an on duty officer doesn't want to experience the unexpected is within his/her safe zone, which usually includes the station or headquarters, and from his/her leadership.  It is essential for trust to be established among the members by building a culture of respect for the work of the department, recognizing that the priority is keeping the campus safe for all stakeholders.


Consultants:  Consultants were public safety administrators with extensive knowledge of police services, emergency management & planning, physical & personnel security, threat assessment and campus parking gathered over 35 years of command experience.  They are both police chiefs within the PA State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).

Only information derived from personal interviews or firsthand observations by the consultants were used in the creation of the report.  Clarion Department of Public Safety employees and selected members of the campus community were interviewed over a three day period.