Posted at 12 a.m. April 17, 2014

Campus Safety Academy to train nonsworn officers

Laramie County Community College will host a Campus Safety Academy, one of the nation’s only nonsworn officer academies for educational security officers, this summer.

LCCC Director of Campus Safety James Crosby said the development of the Campus Safety Academy, first presented to President Dr. Joe Schaffer and his cabinet in February 2013, was in response to a security threat assessment compiled by Security Risk Management Consultants, Inc. The assessment included a review of campus security and public safety practices at LCCC and a recommendation to begin the process of exploring program direction for campus safety in an effort to develop a more comprehensive campus safety agency.

“Not a day or week goes by without a tragedy across the country affecting our campuses,” Crosby said.
Sworn officers are law enforcement officers and campus police, like those at the University of Wyoming, who have attended the Peace Officers Standards and Training Academy in Douglas, Wyo. Nonsworn officers are security officers who protect the interests of schools and public buildings like LCCC and Frontier Mall and file reports on occurrences, occasionally contacting law enforcement or medical personnel when necessary.

Nonsworn officers don’t have the option of attending a P.O.S.T. academy, Crosby said. “Unlike most areas, Cheyenne does have sworn police officers on their K-12 campuses; their school resource officers are actually city of Cheyenne police officers,” he said. “So we found a need not only in higher education but throughout the nation to expand those agencies that do not have sworn officer security.”

Currently, no educational programs for nonsworn officers are available in Wyoming. The only other program dedicated to nonsworn officers is a state-supported one in New Hampshire and confined only to the Granite State.

Academy to provide service-oriented training

Crosby said the LCCC academy’s purpose will be to provide comprehensive and service-oriented training to nonsworn officers to “try and get away from being, as they call it, ‘law enforcement badge heavy.’”

Crosby helped form an advisory committee of various agencies including state and federal law enforcement to develop the needs of training nonsworn officers with a “curriculum of theoretical and practical skills that help provide an environment conducive to learning.”

In addition to the residential training program, the curriculum also includes workshops and training sessions open to LCCC students, faculty, staff as well as the community.

“We decided because there’s a need nationally, this has to be a nationally advertised program,” Crosby said.

Because the Campus Safety Academy will be one-of-a-kind in regards to its scarcity among other institutions, Crosby said one of the benefits LCCC could receive is regional and national recognition as a leader in providing professional training to nonsworn campus safety officers, adding that “in addition, we would certainly demonstrate the college’s commitment to members of the community that we serve.”

The Campus Safety Academy is made possible with money provided by LCCC innovative funds, and the academy will break even after six people register for the residential training program, Crosby said. The maximum number of people allowed in the program is 25.

“We plan to send all of our personnel through the academy. We may not be able to do it in the first session, but our intent is they graduate from our program,” Crosby said.

The cost to register for the residential training program, which will be held June 8-14, is $1,500 for the full six days and includes on-campus housing, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Reduced rates are available for people who must travel long distances to attend.


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