Campus Community Perceptions and How They Affect Public Safety

Central Washington University Police Chief Michael Luvera provides an overview of his Campus Safety Conference West workshop on adapting to the challenges of campus policing.

School, university and hospital officials who understand the role their police and security officers play in supporting their organization’s mission are better prepared to attract and hire the right officers. Ready to be challenged as accountable leaders, campus law enforcement and safety leaders spend considerable time ensuring that their communities remain protected, building relationships and promoting the honor they have in serving the public.

In his higher ed workshop Adapting to the Trials and Transitions of a Demanding Profession, Michael Luvera, chief of police at Central Washington University will challenge attendees to engage in a vulnerable process of analyzing the perceptions their community has about their agencies, the services they provide and the manner in which those services are delivered. The workshop will take place at the Campus Safety Conference West in Long Beach, Calif., Aug. 9-10.

Campus Safety:  Why did you pick this particular topic?

Luvera:  I’ve lived this topic for the last 25 years and I believe in sharing valuable experiences with others-in hopes of making their lives a little bit easier. In law enforcement, the professional sharing of information among the people who need to be working together is extremely valuable. Our profession is in need of improvement, and most of us are willing to work hard to try to overcome some of the perceptions that exist about our jobs and how we approach them.

Campus Security: Tell me about the “team approach” and explain why it’s key to the future of campus law enforcement.

Luvera:  The safety of our educational communities is not solely the responsibility of law enforcement, safety, or security professionals. The priority for safety and crime prevention on campus is reflective of the actions of school and university administrators. For any successful initiative to be carried out, you need buy-in from your entire team right from the get-go. Everyone has to be on the same page and everyone has to share the vision-long before you can roll an initiative out to the broader community. When this happens, people take more pride in their work and hold one another accountable in this “new normal” world that we’re all operating in.

Campus Security: If you could change one thing about your profession right now, what would it be?

Luvera: I’d like to see more direct benchmarks used across the United States. Many times, when we survey our communities, we find that we’re comparing apples to oranges across the country – instead of truly knowing we have a widely applicable best practice or benchmark to use. I’m not sure if we’ll get there or not, but simply having the discussions and sharing the belief that we can change perceptions are both good starting points.

The third annual Campus Safety Conferences are education and training events for anyone who has a stake in ensuring the public safety and security of our nation’s schools, universities, and colleges. Taking place in Washington, D.C., July 25-26 and Long Beach, Calif., Aug. 9-10, the conferences provide full-day training workshops, a campus police chief and a K-12 safety panel, dozens of conference sessions, and more than 35 companies showcasing their products, services, and technologies.

To register for the Campus Safety Conferences, visit Michael Luvera will be speaking at CSC West, Higher Education Track, on Aug. 9.

Register for the Campus Safety Conferences.

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