Cleveland State Transitions From Campus Security To Campus Police

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Dr. Tommy Wright, vice president for Finance and Administration; Dr. Carl Hite, CSCC president and Mike Hodges, chief of Campus Police, stand in front of one of CSCC’s newly designed campus police cars.
Dr. Tommy Wright, vice president for Finance and Administration; Dr. Carl Hite, CSCC president and Mike Hodges, chief of Campus Police, stand in front of one of CSCC’s newly designed campus police cars.
In an effort to provide added security measures at Cleveland State, the college has recently transitioned from Campus Security to Campus Police. 

Mike Hodges, chief of Campus Police, said, “When I interviewed, they told me the intention was to move from an unarmed security to a full-fledged full-time POST (Police Officer Standard Training) Certified Police Department.”  

Mr. Hodges said the biggest motivator behind the change was violence across the country on school campuses. “Violence is growing every day, and the thought process was to make our campus more secure—to be a deterrent to any kind of armed shooter or threat, or criminals in general. We want to keep that element away from the campus.” 

Dr. Tommy Wright, vice president for Finance and Administration, said, “When you look across the country at the different institutions, while we have been blessed to not have any type of violent crime here, we can’t ignore the fact that it could happen, and we didn’t really feel prepared since we weren’t armed in any way. The first step was training our Campus Security to carry Tasers. When Mike came on board, with him being a POST Certified Police Officer, we were immediately able to take that to a whole new level and convert from Security to Police and carry guns.

“Mike has been instrumental in leading this transition. His knowledge of law enforcement made it a smooth transition. In addition, our Police Academy, Director Dwight Williams and Assistant Director Jarred Crawford, have also been instrumental in helping with this process.”  

Dr. Wright said, “One of the other things we decided was to move our Campus Police Department to a more centralized location.” Campus Security used to be across the street from the campus, but it is now located in the George L. Mathis Student Center.  

“We had a lot of help along the way,” said Mr. Hodges. “Chief Wes Snyder and Captain Dave Bishop with the Cleveland Police Department along with various members of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department and 911 Center, as well as Bradley County Emergency Management, have been extremely helpful to us during this process.” 

Mr. Hodges said it took about eight months to make this transition happen. “We had to write a letter to the Tennessee POST Commission letting them know of our intention to become a police department because POST regulates all police activity in the state of Tennessee; that was the first step. At that point, we had to start the process getting our proper equipment, developing a different standard operating procedure, as well as a whole new set of documents.” 

Mr. Hodges said they have hired additional police officers and as other positions become available, they will replace some of those positions with police officers, as well. 

“We have relatively few crimes on our campus,” said Mr. Hodges. “This is a preventive act. Not only for those wanting to do harm or trying to commit a crime, but we will also be a quicker response force because we are right here on campus. 

“We want to continue to ensure that Cleveland State has a safe campus. We want our faculty, staff and students to come here to school and concentrate on being students or employees and still have peace of mind that their well-being is taken care of.” 

Mr. Hodges is a graduate of Maryville College where he received his Bachelor of Arts in History and the Knoxville Police Department Police Academy where he received his P.O.S.T. Certification. He brings 14 years of experience in patrol tactics, traffic accident investigation, preliminary investigations of both property crimes and crimes against persons and crime scene investigation. He is also a field training officer and departmental instructor in numerous areas. 

For more information on the CSCC Campus Police Department, contact Hodges at 423 473-2331.


Jasso Presents At The International Leadership Conference In Paraguay

Lee University’s Dr. Hermilo Jasso presented at the International Leadership Conference sponsored by the John Maxwell Team of Paraguay.  The conference was attended by over 150 participants from different levels of the business world including more than 20 middle and upper-level managers from Bank Itaú, the largest financial conglomerate in Latin America.   Dr. Jasso’s ... (click for more)

Cleveland State Employees Receive In-Service Awards

Two Cleveland State Community College employees received awards at a staff in-service.   Emily Hill received the Rising Star Award, while Sheila Smith received the Excellence Award.  The Rising Star Award goes to an employee who has less than three years and a minimum of six months of service to CSCC, displays a positive attitude and a spirit of enthusiasm, ... (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Commissioner Haynes Calls For Public Meetings On Discretionary Funds; Says Public Against Keeping Them

County Commissioner Marty Haynes on Thursday called for public meetings on the subject of the commissioners continuing to have $100,000 each in discretionary money. He said he had already been meeting with Hixson leaders on the topic. Commissioner Haynes was one of three commissioners who supported a move by County Mayor Jim Coppinger to remove $900,000 in discretionary funds ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Pre-Fourth Observations

I hate to do this, right on the heels of my monthly ‘Walk in the Garden,’ but I have more things on my desk that I dare not leave unnoticed before tomorrow’s Star-Spangled celebration. Foremost is the plea to anyone who shoots off firecrackers to please wear eye protection and ask watchers to stand back. Our eye doctors say firecracker-related injuries have doubled in the last three ... (click for more)