GCU Department of Public Safety named 14th in country
By Laurie Merrill
GCU News Bureau
Grand Canyon University’s Department of Public Safety is ranked 14th in the country on the National Campus Safety Summit’s “Top 25 University Departments” list.
“We worked collaboratively to achieve this level of success, and, as a department, we are pleased with being selected as one of the top departments in the nation,” said Kenneth Laird, associate director of GCU Public Safety. “We are very proud of our supervisors and officers and the hard work that they do every day that made this achievement possible.”
GCU Commander Kirk Fitch said Public Safety has grown into a full-service department for a campus that now has 16,000 students. Patrol has new responsibilities, including the GCU golf course, Grand Canyon University Hotel, GCU Arena and 10 new buildings on the main campus.
The University department also works closely with the Phoenix Police Department and launched a collaborative Neighborhood Safety Initiative that has helped clean up the streets around campus.
Violent crime decreased 24 percent and property crimes dropped 20 percent during the first six months of 2015. During the same period, violent crime across Phoenix rose 7 percent and property crime decreased 3 percent, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.
The University’s department has grown to 163 personnel, officials said, adding that about one-quarter are armed officers and most have at least three decades of public safety experience.
Safety summit officials said they were “overwhelmed by submissions” this year.