Clark: Think safety in all you do

WSU Police Chief Rodney Clark (Courtesy of

Welcome back everyone for another year at Wichita State University!

Your college experience will no doubt be a monumental cornerstone in your life.  Friends and experiences will shape you and make lasting impacts on your life.  The job and function of any university police department is to provide the space for students to operate in safely so that you can fulfil your learning potential and have a rewarding journey.

I wish you success and for you to have an enjoyable experience and for the university to give you as much as it has given me.

Wichita State University has a full service police department staffed with officers that receive the same training as any police officer in the State of Kansas.  Last Year Wichita State was in the top 20 schools in the nation for campus safety and we have only improved through the efforts of everyone.

The department was recognized by the Student Government Association as being an outstanding campus partner and commended by the WSU SGA during 2020.

Safety of our students is our number-one priority. We operate the police department under the philosophy called  Caring and Compassionate Policing or what I refer to as C2 Policing. This simply means our number one goal is to make you feel comfortable and cared for here at WSU.

I want all new and returning students to feel safe and to please approach any of our officers with questions you may have or to report anything you think may require attention from a police officer. The department offers safety escorts to class, to your car or anywhere on campus if you feel uncomfortable with someone or with a situation.

I hope you find your time here at WSU enjoyable.

Think safety in all you do. It is smart when possible to travel with a friend off campus and to let others know where you are going. There is safety in numbers and simple things like looking around your environment and not walking while looking at your phone constantly helps convey the message to others that you are looking out for yourself and those around you.

There are several features the campus provides for your safety. Any blue light on top of a pole on campus marks a police call box. Should you find yourself out of battery power or without your phone, you may use these phones, which ring directly to a police dispatcher who can get you help.

911 will always get you emergency service and it is a good idea to load the phone number of (316) 978-3450 into your phone as well for direct line to police dispatch. You can also download the “Rave Guardian” app from your smartphone as a safety feature. Some of the features of this app allow you to share with friends your location and set reminders to check in with the people you choose.

The shocker alert system is a messaging system the police department and the university use to send out a range of alerts such as weather and any type of criminal or emergency situation that may exist on or near campus. It is important to stay aware of these messages as well.

Finally, I am aware of the national narratives surrounding public safety, freedom of speech and overall personal safety in the age of the COVID pandemic.  I would encourage all of you to look at the conditions here at Wichita State University.  I think you will find one of the most dedicated universities and police departments in the country that is geared for your safety and stability during your college years.