Campus police chief to form advisory council

WKU Police chief Mitch walker will be selecting an advisory council next month made up of officers, students, and faculty.

Cameron Coyle

The WKU Police Department is putting together an advisory council to assist the police chief in making decisions regarding campus police issues, according to the police chief.

Chief Mitch Walker said he plans to create a chief advisory team made up of students, police officers, faculty and staff who would assist him. Walker organized an advisory team made up of only campus police officers during his time as interim chief of police at WKU.

Walker said he has received several inquiries about the chief advisory council from students, and he hopes to have the members selected by the middle of October. He said people have already begun applying to be on the council.

“I’ve gotten several e-mails from people wanting to volunteer so we’re pretty excited,” Walker said.

Officer Brandon Miller previously served on the chief advisory team and will be returning again this semester.

“It’s given us, as officers and members of the department, a chance to voice our opinions of what’s going on within the department,” Miller said. “If we have certain issues that aren’t really being addressed then we bring them up. Certain things that, say one person may have just strictly made the decision on in the past, we can actually vote on it.”

Miller said the new uniforms the officers now wear are a product of the chief advisory council.

“It got brought up that [our] other uniforms weren’t holding up very well and none of the guys liked them because they were too hot, so we brought up that we wanted to look into maybe some different uniforms,” Miller said.

Miller said they talked about what colors the officers wanted, discussed possibly changing the patch and even decided to add an external vest carrier.

Miller said the council sometimes gets to decide on how parts of the campus police budget are handled.

“We are needing to upgrade some of our tasers, so we’re trying to decide if we’re going to spend the money to upgrade the tasers,” Miller said.

Miller also said the council will be deciding on whether or not to get National Crime Information Center, or NCIC, terminals in their dispatch.

An NCIC terminal is a digitalized database that contains information regarding such things as criminal record histories, missing persons and stolen property.

The FBI’s website calls NCIC terminals “an electronic clearinghouse of crime data that can be tapped into by virtually every criminal justice agency nationwide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It helps criminal justice professionals apprehend fugitives, locate missing persons, recover stolen property and identify terrorists.”

Miller expressed confidence officers would work successfully with students, faculty and staff.

“I think it will work pretty well because we’re actually getting input from them too on what they would like to see,” Miller said.

Walker said he wants students from all years at WKU to be on the council. He said the best way to apply to be on the chief advisory council is to e-mail your interests at [email protected] or to call the campus police station at 270-745-5275.

Reporter Cameron Coyle can be reached at 270-745-6011 oand [email protected].