• 48°

LUPD ranked in top 20

Security Magazine has ranked the Longwood University Police Department (LUPD) in the top 20 among Virginia colleges and universities.

This year’s award is Longwood’s eighth in the last 10 years.

Bob
Beach

“The Longwood University Police Department is a real point of pride for the university, and we hear from parents and students each day that they have a lot of confidence in the safety of our campus,” said Dr. Tim Pierson, vice president for student affairs. “In the last 10 years, we have nearly doubled the security budget on campus, including growing our law enforcement staff to more than double the national average for a population our size. That kind of commitment from the top down is reflected in their continued ranking, and is a real testament to the values and forward-thinking practices put in place over that time.”

According to LUPD Chief Col. Bob Beach who has led the department since 2007 when he first began his career with the university there were no security cameras on campus.

“When I arrived on campus, we had no security cameras, no blue-light phones and no emergency siren,” said Beach. “Now we have more than 300 security cameras on campus and at university-managed housing complexes, more than 60 emergency blue-light phones at strategic locations, and a sophisticated emergency notification system that undergoes regular and rigorous testing. We’ve come a long way, and we are always looking for ways to improve. That’s something the rankings take into consideration — how much you are investing in new technology, and I’m proud to say it’s one of our strengths.”

Tim
Pierson

In addition, the police department has adopted community-policing practices, focused on building connections with the community and utilizing proactive, student-focused crime-prevention strategies. That involves offering free security-focused training and other programs for students and making police officers available to students in nonenforcement capacities.

“We work best when we are members of the community,” said Beach. “We try to find ways to engage with students in a friendly way to help build a relationship based on trust, whether that’s holding egg hunts in the spring, meeting with students during monthly Coffee with the Chief, meeting with any group that invites us or just talking with students on Brock Commons. We’re always striving to get better at our jobs to make the community safer.”