BOSTON - The New England Association of Chiefs of Police awarded the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Department of Public Safety the award for community policing.
The award has been presented twice before and UMass Dartmouth DPS is the first university police force to be recognized with the honor.
UMass Dartmouth DPS competed with police forces of towns and cities across New England and it was the sole university police force to place in the top ten candidates.
Chief Theodore Smith of the Lincoln, N.H. Police Department said in a statement that it was “a hands-down, unanimous selection.” Smith chaired the committee that created the award.
The committee who assigned the award consisted of six New England police chiefs as well as professors that are criminal justice experts.
UMass Dartmouth DPS was lauded particularly for its proactive brand of public safety.
“We have changed a traditional culture of reacting to crime to one where all of us understand the value of proactive community involvement - that makes the difference, and that sets us apart from other universities,” said the university’s Chief of Police Colonel Emil Fioravanti.
Deb McLaughlin vice chancellor and chief operating officer who oversees DPS said in a statement, “This awards shows what we on campus already knew: that their engagement builds trust, earns results, and stops problems before they start.”