If a student feels unsafe on Truman’s campus and contacts DPS, a team member will be sent to make sure the student safely arrives at their destination. The team consists of student security workers and officers, and can be called at any time of day.
DPS Director Sarah Holzmeier says there always has been a safe escort policy at Truman, but it was not well-known by the student body. She says the main purpose of renaming the program was to make the team known to the public.
“We had what they called a student escort service,” Holzmeier says. “It wasn’t very publicized. I don’t believe that many people really knew we had that kind of program.”
Holzmeier says to get the word out about this resource, DPS gave the service a new name and acquired security vests that designated the members as part of the SAFE team. Anyone who calls for an escort will now recognize SAFE members as they arrive. Security officers will not wear a vest and instead will arrive in their regular uniform.
“It’s just one of those things I think we as public safety need to advertise and provide, to make sure that if people aren’t feeling safe, we’re there for them,” Holzmeier says.
Holzmeier says she thinks the new name and vests are more professional, and will go a long way toward promoting the service.
Officer Steve Nelson, head coordinator of the SAFE team, says even though the service is advertised for use during the evening and night, it is available to students at all times.
“On a case-by-case basis, we offer it 24 hours a day,” Nelson says.
The student security workers on the team also assist DPS with other security measures on campus, Nelson says. The student workers aid the officers in clearing campus buildings and securing them at midnight, as well as keeping an eye out for any problems they might see, Nelson says.
Additionally, Nelson says the student workers provide additional security at sporting events and campus events, helping to control crowds and traffic flow. Student workers are required to report any suspicious activity to DPS, he says.
Students must be interviewed and undergo a background check to apply for a position at DPS, Nelson says.