Campus Police: Providing Student Safety

Erin Owens
Staff Writer

With another semester in full swing, Cameron campus police are busy making sure everything runs smoothly.

For the campus police, this involves ensuring student safety, overseeing any traffic accidents or domestic disputes and being there to answer any call 24 hours a day.

The campus police consists of mostly retired officers from the Lawton Police Department; however, even if they have no prior experience, they all must meet the same training requirements as any other police officer in Oklahoma.

The number one priority of campus police is to make sure every student is safe. Every year the department trains and prepares for the worst case scenarios.

In case of such an event, there are thirteen emergency call boxes across campus that students can use to be connected immediately to an officer’s radio. If a student is unable to make it to their car safely, they can contact campus police who will then provide an escort.

Campus police investigate all accidents that occur on campus and are always on patrol to ensure that handicap and staff parking remains available for those intended. Police Lieutenant Charles Whitis said that students are welcome to interact with campus police.

“It’s not us against them,” Whitis said. “We are part of them. We’re friendly – we talk to students and we know most of the RA’s in the dorms here, and we work closely with them.”

Campus police are also available to serve students in atypical ways. Depending on make and model of the vehicle, campus police are able to assist students who have locked their keys in the car. Campus police are also available to help jump start a car if the battery has died.

Working as a campus police officer is a title every officer in the department is happy to carry.

For Lieutenant Whitis, it has been crucial in changing his point of view.

“I spent 33 years downtown, and the majority of it I worked narcotics.” Whitis said. “So I had a bad outlook on life. I thought everybody was bad and everybody’s on drugs, but you know now I see things positively.

“I see kids … they’re good kids, you know, they’re trying to make something out of their lives … so to me it’s the good side and my career is ending with [me] seeing the positive side.”

Campus police can be contacted in emergency situations by using the call boxes across campus. For non-emergency situations students are encouraged to call 580-581-2911.

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