As Americans, we like our lists. Do an Internet search any day, and you'll see all kinds, from "Top 10 Hippie Travel Destinations," to "Top 10 Weirdest CIA Programs," to "Top 10 Dead Persons Still Said to Be Alive After Death" (Elvis is No. 1, in case you were wondering).
Not to be outdone, Campus Safety magazine has created its own Top 10. But unlike the "Top 10 Star Wars Pumpkin Carvings," our list highlights those of you who are doing the serious and heroic work of protecting our nation's students, patients, faculty and staff.
Some of this year's finalists were responsible for responding to natural disasters and VIP visits. Minnesota State University, Moorhead Director of Security Michael Parks mobilized both first responders and volunteers to protect the city of Moorhead during the Red River Flood of 2009. Middlesex County College Chief of Police Robert Smilek coordinated his campus' police services for three visits by a U.S. president and one visit from a vice president, as well as many more VIPs.
And of course, there were those of you who made significant sacrifices in response to the economic downturn. Arizona State Chief of Police John Pickens, for example, required all non-essential department personnel, including himself, to take furlough days off so that his department's line officers could continue working full time to protect the campus. Carolinas HealthCare System's corporate security department, under the leadership of Director Bryan Warren, exceeded its charitable corporate division contributions goal by 13 percent and department goal by 99 percent.
Others have been able to stretch their resources, making their budgets go further. South Western City Schools Safety Project Director Gary Sigrist Jr., was required under the district's REMS grants to create emergency plans for 31 hazards. He increased the number to 33.
As far as those of us here at Campus Safety are concerned, David Letterman's got nothing on our Top 10. Without further ado, here are the Director of the Year finalists...
Find Out Who Won!
The winner(s) of the 2009 Campus Safety Director of the Year will be announced at the Campus Safety Conference, which will take place March 30-31 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif. To register for this event, go to www.CampusSafetyConference.com or call (800) 576-8788.