Campus News Top Stories — 29 November 2016

MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University, like many other universities, has its own police department. The Murray State Police Department is part of the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management and is responsible for the enforcement of laws and the protection of the people and property related to Murray State.  Parking and Emergency Management are the other parts of Public Safety and Emergency Management.

The officers of Public Safety work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help keep the campus community secure. They are also considered to be campus mentors, counselors and partners to the University. These officers do more than just patrol campus; they are here to connect with faculty, staff and students to help build a safe community for Murray State.

On Oct. 21, Public Safety held a Fun Day that allowed the Murray community to come out and get to know officers and staff in a fun, non-police-oriented way on campus. The day featured free hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and a variety of sweet treats along with games and prizes.

“I have found that students at Murray State seem to have a greater sense of community than other schools with which I’ve been exposed. We at the Murray State Police Department can take advantage of that sense of community to emphasize the role that each of us as individuals play in the safety of everyone else. At the same time, it is often more difficult in the university environment than it is with a local police department. The local police can establish relationships with citizens and depend on those relationships for years. On campus, relationship development is constant, because our population is mostly new every four years,” said Chief James Herring.

In addition to their everyday duties, they are involved in the education process at Murray State. Officers have been known to help resident advisors with alcohol awareness and sexual assault prevention programs. They provide fraternities and sororities with risk management classes and can be seen on campus visiting in office buildings or in the residence halls.

“Every day, working for the Murray State University Police is a rewarding experience,” said Officer Chris Fike. “However, there is one moment that stands out for me. I was conducting a traffic stop on a vehicle for several violations. During the stop, I spoke to the individual at length to determine what exactly was going on. While interacting with him, I learned that he was going through a difficult time in his life. Money was short, he did not have a place to stay and he did not know if he was going to be able to continue his education at Murray State. I made some phone calls to various people who are part of the Murray State community and also outside of the community, attempting to find a way to help the person. Our dispatch, along with other officers, were able to help point us in the right direction. Student affairs, dining services and housing were able to help find a way for the individual to continue his education. Although the individual could have been cited, I was able to find a way to help a member of the community, and that is what being an officer at Murray State is truly about.”

For more information about Public Safety, visit murraystate.edu/publicsafety or contact Chief and Director James C. Herring Jr. by phone at 270-809-4810 or by email at jherring5@murraystate.edu. In emergency situations, call (270) 809-2222.

Assistant Chief Jeff Gentry (left) and Sergeant Brad Smith (right) of the Murray State University Police Department assist a student during move-in as part of Great Beginnings 2016.

Assistant Chief Jeff Gentry (left) and Sergeant Brad Smith (right) of the Murray State University Police Department assist a student during move-in as part of Great Beginnings 2016.

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Allie Douglass

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