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2004 Administrative Excellence Award

2004 Administrative Excellence Award

Lt. Kevin R. Higgins, Central Washington University

Lt. Kevin R. Higgins, Central Washington UniversityLt. Kevin R. Higgins has been employed by the Central Washington University Police Department for 25 years. During his career, he has served with distinction as a patrol officer, detective, detective sergeant and for the past 10 years as a police lieutenant. Higgins is second-in-command of the department and is responsible for police operations, investigations, parking services, special operations, crime prevention, community policing and is the primary liaison with outside agencies.

Over the past 10 years, Lt. Higgins' responsibilities as an administrator have increased significantly performance and his performance has been outstanding in all phases of the responsibilities. It is because of this exceptional service, his personal qualities, and his commitment to quality campus public safety that he receives this prestigious award.

Lt. Higgins has provided the leadership and guidance that has allowed his campus public safety agency to overachieve. The department has been recognized both on a statewide and national level as having effective, innovative programs in the area of community policing, crime prevention, and special operations. Lt. Higgins has been responsible for developing the “Sexual Assault Response Commitment,” a program that increases the opportunity for victims of sexual assault to report incidents in a more comfortable and confidential setting. This program was recognized by the Washington State Crime Prevention Association as the Law Enforcement Program of the Year in his first year as a lieutenant. This program continues to serve his campus every day. His passion for initiating strategies to combat sexual assault on campuses has led to his campus's successful and nationally recognized campus multi-disciplinary approach. He initiated and supported Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) programs on the campus and he is a key ingredient in the formulation of a problem-solving team that addresses student affairs and public safety issues.

As a lieutenant, Higgins has been passionate about opportunities to work with the campus community in other facets of campus public safety administration. He is responsible for dignitary protection details and for the past several years has received commendations by campus administrators as well as the dignitaries themselves for his contributions to their safety. In particular, he was the administrator responsible for the campus response plan to a protest by the Westboro Baptist Church , a known hate speech group. He handled all phases of the response and received letters of commendation from Central Washington State University 's president and ironically from the Westboro Baptist Church . He has been a sound source of advice for other agencies dealing with this group.

In 1999, Parking Services, a $700,000 operation was assigned to our police department. Lt. Higgins immediately volunteered to take responsibility for parking administration. In the short time he has led Parking Services, he has turned it into a profitable, student-oriented organization with an emphasis on customer service. This program came to the department with a public relations problem and he has turned it into a first class operation that is receiving high customer satisfaction ratings.

Lt. Higgins is also responsible for many of the “behind the scenes” things that allow the department to continue to operate efficiently and effectively within the framework of the university. He is the department's technical advisor for computer problems; he troubleshoots the report screens; he liaisons with the private dispatch service; and he is seen as a sound source of advice for department personnel as well as all university administrative levels.

As a true testament to his administrative capabilities during 2003 and early 2004, many of his carefully planned and innovative approaches are paying off. There has been a dramatic steady decrease in many important crime categories on campus, culminating with the lowest totals yet despite an increasing population. His inventive programs particularly in the area of sexual assault response have become models for other law enforcement agencies.

Lt. Kevin Higgins is everything anyone would want in a capable, trusted police administrator. His efforts over the past few years have placed him in a category equaled by few. His problem solving abilities, ability to put people first and his commitment to campus law enforcement are worthy of being recognized as the recipient of the IACLEA Award for Administrative Excellence.

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