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2009 News Releases

Longwood University Police Department ranked 24th in nation by magazine

December 8, 2009

Security Magazine November 2009

Longwood University's "finest" truly are among the finest.

The Longwood University Police Department has been ranked the 24th best in the nation among colleges and universities in an evaluation of the security industry by Security Magazine. Longwood's police force is the only one from a Virginia institution listed among the 24 in the November 2009 issue. The annual study, based on a survey and public records, cites the top 500 security programs in 16 "sectors," one of which is Education: Colleges and Universities.

"This award is a recognition that our policies, procedures and efforts have reached a level of sophistication on issues of safety and security," said Bob Beach, Longwood's police chief. "It's a credit to every member of our department, who have put in a lot of extra work and effort. Despite many transitions in the past two years, the department has raised the level of operations and made this community safer.

"When I came here (in 2007), I found a department that was 80 percent security and 20 percent law enforcement; now that ratio has been reversed, which is the way it should be," Beach said. "Law enforcement is not about locking people up. That's the last resort. It's about willing compliance, which is done through education. We have doubled the number of student-involved informational programs. The Code Red program, a recent emergency training program for faculty and staff, is an example of this.

"We started 'police service areas,' which is led by Sgt. Delbert Dove and has been successful. The campus is divided into quadrants, with one sergeant and three officers assigned to each one. They've been reaching out to people in their area."

The LUPD has been successful recently in obtaining grants, Beach said. "We received a $98,000 grant for a news records management system in which there will be a laptop in every cruiser. We've received several Alcohol Beverage Control grants for law enforcement and education, a $500 grant from the Parents Council for intimate partner violence prevention, and a $7,000 grant for new equipment, including traffic vests for when our officers are working traffic and also new radar sets and alcohol sensors."

Longwood Police Department with the Award
Longwood University President Dr. Patricia Cormier and Dr. Tim Pierson (left), vice president for student affairs, recently congratulated members of the Longwood Police Department for the department's ranking as the 24th best in the nation among colleges and universities. A plaque, held here by Chief Bob Beach, features the cover of the November 2009 issue of Security Magazine. The issue, which included the annual evaluation of the security industry, will be mounted on the wall of the foyer outside the department office. Chief Beach is flanked by fellow members of the Police Department (from left) Laura Rice, Sgt. Rick Atristain, Garry Hardy, Sgt. Russell Dove, Tracy Mahan, Debbie Wooding, Investigator John Thompson, Beverly Spain, and Cheryl Lingerfelt. The Longwood Police Department includes the ID Center and Parking Services.

The LUPD has 15 full-time and seven part-time officers and six full-time and four part-time dispatchers. It also includes the ID Center (one staff member) and Parking Services (three staffers). "We have one officer living in Longwood Village and one officer living in Lancer Park, and they do specific patrols and programs in those areas when they're off-duty," Beach said.

Beach became interim chief in August 2007, and the interim label was dropped in October 2007. He had worked for the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD), the largest law enforcement agency in the state, from 1977 until 2002, becoming one of only eight majors.

In addition to praising the department for the honor, Beach also credited President Patricia Cormier for her "unwavering support and commitment to the LUPD and the safety of the Longwood community" and Dr. Tim Pierson, vice president for student affairs, for his "commitment and support, innovation and willingness to support change."

This year's "Security 500," as Security Magazine calls them, are the focus of the November issue's cover story, written by the publisher, Mark McCourt. Among the challenges faced by college security programs are pandemics, suicides, binge drinking, date rape, asset protection, and screening employees of outside businesses on campus.

"Those on the 2009 Security 500 are represented by organizations that value security's contribution to enterprise goals," McCourt wrote. "This was a year of new heights in managing tight budgets, addressing new risks and complying with new regulations. Each member of the Security 500 has achieved these new heights."