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Agency Spotlight: University of North Texas Police Department

At the University of North Texas, 38,000 students and 4,000 staff and faculty members rely on our Police Department to provide a safe environment so they can pursue their educational and professional needs. But, our work cannot be done in a vacuum. So, in 2017, Police Chief Ed Reynolds conceived an idea to take our work into the classroom – and empower students with safety skills.

 In fall 2017, our department collaborated with the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology to create a health and safety class. We were given permission to hold a trial class in spring of 2018 with the ability to have a permanent class every semester if we were successful. Thirty UNT students signed up for the pilot class to learn a variety of life safety skills while earning health elective credit hours. 

The curriculum included: how to respond to an active shooter incident, ID theft/fraud protection, theft prevention, self-defense training, travel safety tips, personal/campus safety tips, and tips to prevent cybercrime. Det. Bryan Holdegraver taught the students about identity theft and fraud protection. Classes were taught by UNT Police Department representatives with the help of a kinesiology instructor.

At the end of the semester, the students rated the class a 4.8 out of a possible 5. Many of the students praised the hands-on self-defense classes, which allowed them to learn techniques and practice these skills. Student responses on the evaluation noted that they felt prepared for adulthood and enjoyed getting to know the members of the police department. One student summed up their experience this way: “I feel that I gained a lot of valuable information that I can use in my everyday life. Information that I can take with me beyond this class. The officers did a great job of presenting the information in a practical and interesting way.”

Sgt. Kevin Crawford wore the Red Man suit to help students practice self-defense.The class is now a permanent elective and as we continue to develop it, we recognize the opportunity to make this a true community endeavor. This summer, UNTPD began collaborating with other UNT departments to enhance the curriculum.

The fall 2018 semester class will include presenters from UNT’s Survivor Advocate’s Bystander Intervention and Intimate Partner Violence Prevention course, Substance Abuse Resource Center, Emergency Management, Student Health and Wellness Center and more.

UNTPD will remain an active participant and the main collaborator for the course, but by enhancing the class to include other UNT departments we hope to turn campus safety into a culture in which everyone participates.

In addition to the class with Kinesiology, our department regularly participates in the following community engagement activities:

  • Coffee with Cops
  • Pizza with Police
  • New student, faculty & staff orientation

We also teach the following programs throughout the year:

  • TEST self-defense
  • Responding to an Active Shooter
  • Alcohol & Drug Awareness Presentation
  • Protocol for Handling Disruptive Individuals Presentation
  • Campus Safety & Personal Awareness Presentation
  • Emergency Readiness Training
  • Protecting Your Good Name – ID Theft Presentation
  • Stalking and Hazing Awareness
  • Mutually Cooperative Police Contacts
  • Campus Carry
  • Spring Break Safety
  • Theft Prevention

If you would like to know more about our community policing initiatives, please contact Sergeant Kevin Crawford at 940-565-8984 or kevin.crawford@unt.edu.



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