category: Campus News

Carson-Newman awarded safety grant from the state

Doug Cochran, director of Carson-Newman University’s Department of Public Safety

A recent grant awarded to Carson-Newman University will make a safe campus even safer, according to Doug Cochran, director of C-N’s Department of Public Safety. The Higher Education Safety Grant is awarded through the State of Tennessee and totals $231,000.

The money translates to adding over 70 exterior cameras across the University’s campus. Cochran expects the new resources will prove to be invaluable to the department and university.

“It’s going to allow us to narrow a suspect field down almost immediately in any area on campus in ways that we never could before,” said Cochran. “It’s going to provide us ease of access to solve crimes in parking lots,” he said, citing instances of burglaries or hit-and-runs.

Doug Cochran, Director of Public Safety

Some of the cameras feature 360-degree rotation, motion detection, and telephoto lenses, allowing officers to focus on areas of suspected activity. The cameras can also be converted into license plate readers.

The expansion of additional surveillance builds on other initiatives and strategic partnerships the University already has in place. Strong collaboration with Jefferson City Police Department has proven beneficial according to Cochran, who served as a JCPD officer for six years prior to joining the University’s Department of Public Safety.

“In addition to our seven full-time security officers, we also have four full-time campus-assigned Jefferson City police officers,” said Cochran. “It’s a very symbiotic relationship. Our partnership has also allowed us to open our facilities up for joint training exercises that have been beneficial for both sides.”

The University also utilizes the mobile app, LiveSafe, which allows for quick alerts and emergency communication with students, faculty and staff among other safety features.

For Cochran it’s all about making students and employees feel safe at a place that means a lot to him. In reflecting on what drew him to Carson-Newman, he doesn’t hesitate in responding.

“It felt like home,” he said, “Just being able to build relationships quickly. The same people I saw at work, I would see at church or other places around town. Just having those friendships and connections made it feel so much like home.”

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