Police department offers more than parking ticketsFeature Stories, News Sunday, January 13th, 2013
“Do you remember in first grade when they told you to write down what you wanted to be when you grow up and to watch how it changed?” asked Steven Mahon, an investigator at the ULM Police Department. “Mine never did.”
Mahon started out at the Delhi Police Department in 2002. From there he went on to work for the Department of State training police in Iraq. Now he tracks down thieves who are foolish enough to commit a crime around this campus’ watchdogs.
The ULMPD began as a security department more than 20 years ago. Today, all of its members are state-certified law enforcement officers, with jurisdiction anywhere in Louisiana.
The department is supported by a staff of 17 people, state-of-the-art communication equipment, a campus full of cameras and the aid of other local police departments. The officers have Peace Officer Standard Training certified. They’re certified with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security. And they’re working on getting every officer emergency medical training.
All of this helps the department provide the best services it can to the students at ULM. The department will do everything from unlocking your car to escorting you across campus if you don’t feel safe.
Acting Police Chief Montez Pate said ULM is one of the safest, if not the safest, campus in the state.
“We’re a proactive department,” Pate said. “Our primary concern is safety of the students.”
Pate has 30 years of experience in police work with nearly 20 of those years spent at ULM.
Pate said that a part of student safety is traffic patrol. Even though it’s the “ULM” Police Department, they can write a ticket anywhere in Monroe, or the state for that matter.
According to the department’s website, the campus saw a 62 percent drop in on-campus crime from 2010 to 2011. It also saw a 31 percent decline in overall on campus arrests in 2011.
It brought down it’s total number of illegal weapon possession arrests to zero. But if ULM were to go the way of other universities, such as Virginia Tech, Pate said his department would be ready.
“Most of our officers have been ‘active shooter’ trained,” Pate said.
The department is working on setting up drills on campus to prepare police for the possibility that a gunman could wander onto the campus.
“Used to they told you to wait for your back up,” he said. “But now they say that if it is an active shooter, to take action.”
With more than 200 years of combined, law enforcement experience, ULMPD protects and serves this campus with pride.
Students can visit the department’s website to see a full list of services the department offers as well as other crime statistics and reports.
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