Kent State Police Officers welcome students to a recent event.

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Kent State University Recognized as a Safe, Secure Campus

Kent State's reputation as a friendly, welcoming campus extends to its Police Services

For international students and their parents, there are many factors to consider when determining where to study in the United States. One of the most critical is the safety and security a student will experience while pursuing an education abroad. The safety factor is especially worrisome for the student's parents, who want to have the assurance and peace of mind that their adult child is in a safe, secure environment while far from home.

While Kent State is respected for the quality of its academics and student life such as its incredible 8-campus system, its active social life, and its fully-equipped recreation center, one of the most important, yet often taken for granted, attributes of its campus is the recognized safety that surrounds the Kent State campus and its students.

To provide an atmosphere that creates a safe environment for all Kent State students, the university's public safety department has its own police force, the Kent State University Police Services. The university has its own police services to help students feel comfortable, safe and secure whenever and wherever they are on campus. The public safety department is also connected to the campus beyond the police services. The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a branch of the public safety office that specializes in bridging the gap between police officers and the mental health system. The CIT provide a forum for effective community problem solving and open communication between members of the university. In recognition of this particularly outstanding program, it won the CIT Program of the Year for the state of Ohio in 2013.

The excellence of the Kent State Police Services is well documented. It is an accredited law enforcement agency and was one of the first nationally accredited law enforcement agencies in Ohio. Plus, it was the second university police department in the United States to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The department was recognized as a Flagship Agency by CALEA three times and most recently received the accreditation with excellence award. This award recognizes law enforcement agencies as extraordinary examples of excellence in law enforcement accreditation. Kent State is also designated as a Meritorious Agency for having the distinction of being accredited for more than 15 years.

Another counterpart to the Kent State University Police Services is the escort services provided by the Department of Residence Services Security Aide staff. Escort Services helps provide a comfortable level of security for any student who requests to be accompanied by a security aide during the night time, from 8:00 pm until 4:00 am.

In addition to its variety of quality branches and subdivisions, the public safety department also has numerous safety-related tools that are easily accessible to students. Flash ALERTS are the university’s official emergency text notification system that alerts subscribers of critical information no matter what time it is or where they are in the world. It is a tool that further aids the university in delivering mass information to students and faculty.

The campus has a great relationship with its police officers. “Because we care so much about the students’ safety and wellness, we are able to provide an environment that is safe for them,” says Community Resource Officer Tricia Knoles. “After all, everyone deserves a safe environment.”

“We are a very friendly and community-oriented police department,” Knoles continues. “Our goal is to make students comfortable with the police that are protecting their campus and their home. That is one of the main reasons why we hold numerous presentations and events throughout the semester on campus.”

Through events like the Citizen Police Academy and Coffee with a Cop, members of the Kent State community have the opportunity to make unique connections with the Kent Police department and its members. Officers also attend many other events that are celebrated throughout the year. “This year we attended events like the international student picnic,” says Officer Knoles. “We attended with the sole purpose of mingling with the students, allowing them to become more comfortable with the officers who will be serving them during their time at Kent State.”

As a result, Kent State is considered one of the safest universities in the United States as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Uniform Crime Statistics and the Consortium for Higher Education Campus Crime Statistics.

Students also share a positive outlook on the campus’ safety initiatives: 

  • "For parents who wants to send his child to a different country to study, their foremost concern is safety. Kent State is one of the safest places to live in for either a male or female student," declares Sai Gunter, an Indian student and recent graduate of Kent State.
  • “I find Kent is safer and a better place to study,” says Safa Shubbar, a Computer Science student from Iraq.
  • Bhaskar Thadisetty, a student from India also studying Computer Science, adds “I feel that the most different thing from other universities here in Kent is the people. People are so friendly.”

To learn more about how Kent State’s public safety department has attained the Gold Excellence Standard, and other reasons to choose Kent State, please click here.

POSTED: Monday, May 8, 2017 - 10:44am
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 9:37am