SUPD Competing for Stanley Security Grant
Suffolk University’s Police Department is currently in the running for a Stanley Security Grant. If won, the grant would allow SUPD to make improvements to the security systems already in place around campus.
“If we were able to obtain a grant, that would alleviate some of the financial stress on the department as well as the university,” said SUPD Crime Prevention Officer Jameson Yee. “So we could use it to better insure, and upgrade, and improve the security systems that we already have in place.”
The grant contest is divided into three tiers based on school population. Suffolk was placed in tier two, with 8,000 to 19,999 students. The grand prize winner of tier two would win a $150,000 grant, while the runner up receives a $50,000 grant.
“The Grant can be used for any STANLEY Security products, technologies, solutions, services and installation,” the contest rules state online.
In order to win, Suffolk University must receive the most votes of the tier two schools before Feb. 13th. Students and faculty may vote by visiting the Stanley Security website, texting “Suffolk” to 334455 (standard message and data rates apply) or tweeting using the hashtags #stanleysecurity and #Suffolk. The winners will be announced March 3rd.
“It’s not going to take too much of your time. You don’t have to buy anything for it – it is free to vote,” said Yee. “We want to get this money so that we can better protect, better serve the community, which is all of you guys.”
SUPD entered the competition when Chief Gerard Coletta submitted an application, including the following statement:
“The men and women of the Suffolk University Police and Security Department are committed to providing the highest quality of police and security services to the Suffolk University community. We work in partnership with the entire community to ensure a safe living and learning environment in which our faculty and staff may best support students in their efforts to achieve academic success.”
Suffolk’s security program is competing against schools from all over the country, including the University of West Georgia, who currently holds first place in tier two. In second place is Western Illinois University. The whole leaderboard can be seen here.
Being in the heart of the city, the SUPD officers face different challenges than an enclosed campus. With Suffolk, there’s no gate to control what comes in and out.
“We have a very sprawled out campus – that’s what makes Suffolk completely different,” said Yee. “We’re not just dealing in assisting the students; we’re also helping in assisting the community surrounding us. We’re going at the same challenges that every other closed campus has, but we also have the same challenges that every city has.”
Yee noted that while SUPD is concerned about the safety of the streets, their main concentration is on the students and staff of Suffolk University. “I think that’s what makes us stand out,” he said. “The best way I’ve heard it said is that we’re not Boston Police but we are police in the city of Boston.”
Along with the regular duties of a police department, SUPD works to make a connection with the students of Suffolk. Yee said the officers enjoy getting to know students individually so that students can feel comfortable coming to them for any issue, whether it’s a safety concern or not.
SUPD also runs a variety of programs, including Rape Aggression Defense (RAD), a free women’s self-defense class to mentally prepare women for a confrontational situation. They work alongside Residence Life & Housing during the Midnight Breakfast, and hold tabling events at the Temple Street fair and the Winter Involvement fair each year. During bike safety week, SUPD’s bike officers worked with the Off-Campus Housing Office and helped hand out water bottles.
“We do things with different programs and departments within the school so that we can be seen as a resource for the students, so that we’re not just there to be the bad guys,” said Yee.