Feb. 8, 2012
The Shawnee State University Department of Public Safety has moved to a new location on campus, the old smokestack building on the southeast corner of campus.
"We have made safety a priority on our campus and have been taking steps the past three years toward this goal," President Rita Rice Morris said. "The new location serves several vital functions by accommodating the department's new role as a combined campus police and security force."
Recently, two police officers were sworn in and a third police sergeant will be sworn in this month. This will enable the department to operate as a full police department beginning next month.
SSU's security operations have been enhanced with the mass notification system, emergency response team and security data collection methods.
Last year Chief David Thoroughman was hired as SSU's first commissioned officer, and he has been leading the efforts to upgrade to a police department. Three of the eligible security officers have received training and have been commissioned as SSU police officers.
"Having our own police force is the way to have the best security for the Shawnee State community," Thoroughman said. "To operate more efficiently as a police department we needed more room to expand to conduct interviews, to provide training, have a place for our officers, and to bring our administrative assistant to our offices. She was housed in the Human Resource office previously."
The Department of Public Safety will have seven officers, three sergeants and three patrol officers plus Chief Thoroughman, and ten security officers.
The university is in the process of entering a mutual aid agreement with the city that will allow SSU officers to serve as back-up for the Portsmouth Police Department.