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.


Education Department Previews New Policies They Say Better Support Students

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen released details Wednesday about how Tennessee is planning to transition to the new federal K-12 education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act. Specifically, the department has published new materials that outline five opportunities and proposed strategies for how Tennessee’s education system under ESSA will increase equity, share more information ... (click for more)

Morning Pointe Seniors, Community Mentors Throw Pirate Party For Orchard Knob Students

Strapping on eye patches and handing out "treasure," the residents at The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer's Center of Excellence, Collegedale, and mentors from Kids Hope USA threw a pirate-themed party for the children at Orchard Knob Elementary School.   Kids Hope USA, a national organization that develops partnerships between churches and schools, pairs at-risk kids ... (click for more)

2 Juveniles Arrested For Arson In Sevier County Fires

An investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, National Park Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office has resulted in charges being placed against two people in connection with the deadly wildfires in Sevier County.  Last week, at the request of 4 th  District Attorney General ... (click for more)

Shannon Whitfield Already At Work Eliminating Sole Commissioner Post In Walker County; Process To Take 4 Years

Shannon Whitfield is already at work eliminating the position he won by a landslide in the recent election. Mr. Whitfield, who takes over at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1 after a 16-year reign by Bebe Heiskell, noted, however, that it is a four-year process. He said the two House members and local senator are working with him on legislation that must first be approved. That should ... (click for more)

Vehicle Emissions Testing Causes More Pollution Than It Prevents - And Response

While a noble cause to make sure vehicles are operating efficiently with the minimum amount of pollutants, a simple analysis makes it somewhat evident the VET program in Chattanooga causes more pollution that it prevents.  Though I don't know how many vehicles are tested on an annual basis, if you assume an average round trip of 10 miles to the nearest testing station (five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: You Can’t Sue You

The Hamilton County School Board will convene an hour earlier tomorrow to discuss “facilities” and the question of the hour is “Which ones?” Several communities are actively studying pulling away from the county’s Department of Education and the stew is thickening by the day. Now comes the revelation that school board attorney Scott Bennett has sent an email to the town of Signal ... (click for more)