Support from the Top Helps UWG Police Department Succeed

The open door policy at the University of West Georgia allows the police department to easily request additions to its budget.

University of West Georgia Police Chief Tom Mackel believes that support from his school’s administration has allowed him and his department to do a better job.

“If there’s a crime on campus, we put out warnings immediately and monitor social media and other outlets to keep track of trending crime, for example,” he says.

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“We don’t get any hesitation for security equipment when we construct a new building and need to put technology in place and automatically add access control and CCTV surveillance,” Mackel adds. “The university appropriates a lot of funding for us. We identify a need, or another department will bring it to our attention. Then we file the appropriate paperwork or add it to the budget, and we have great support for our budgetary needs. However, if it’s something I feel is urgent, I can go straight to any of the vice presidents, the provost or [University President] Dr. Marrero himself. We have a great open-door policy here.”

Additionally, he lauds the efforts of the various UWG departments – including student government, health services, student affairs, enrollment management and university communications and marketing – that work together with UWG police to identify campus protection needs.

Safety education is another component of campus protection that is well supported, which he believes is just as important as technology. His department also partners with multiple groups on campus for threat assessments and developing plans to assist at-risk individuals. Additionally, UWG police have organized drills and conducted run-throughs of hypothetical situations with campus staff that have improved response times and communication.

“As a result, we feel comfortable talking to each other here, and we look at it as everyone working together to make a student successful,” he says.

Brittany Dupree is a writer for the security industry.

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