Penn State Police Launching Community-Oriented Unit
Penn State Police selected three officers to serve on Penn State’s first community-oriented policing unit Friday morning.
Sgt. Monica Himes will lead the initiative alongside Michelle Beckenbaugh and Adam Rawding, two officers who have served the University Police for eight and ten years, respectively.
The three officers on the unit will have a presence at campus events and help on-campus organizations via community programming with initiatives including active-shooter training and even self defense classes. They’ll get started February 5.
“Although we employ a department-wide community-oriented policing philosophy, we feel it is so important that we wanted to have a dedicated unit available for community engagement,” University Park Chief of Police Keith Morris said in a release. “Community policing was one of Monica’s many responsibilities, and due to the popularity of the various programming University Police provides, it was clear that in order to meet the demand we would need additional officers.”
Morris wants the three officers on the unit to become recognizable, positive presences on Penn State’s campus and to bring in a cast of new, more diverse officers to the on-campus police force. He and the new unit will work closely with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in hopes of enhancing the department’s relationship with Penn State’s students and faculty.