Prior to 1971, the Arkansas State University Police Department began as a part-security department employing guards who were on duty during the business hours and subject to call after business hours. In 1971, the department hired it's first full time police chief Ken Cooper. Chief Cooper started the agency with seven officers and started full coverage patrol due to the increasing after hours call load. The first department was housed in a house located near the center of campus. This house served as the police department until 1994 when the department moved to the current location on Robinson St.
In 2004, Ken Cooper retired as from the University Police Department serving the entire time as chief of police. After the departure of Ken Cooper, the University hired James Chapman as the chief of police. Chief Chapman brought the department up to date on all technological advancements as well as brought the department to national accreditation through I.A.C.L.E.A. in 2009.
After the departure of Chief Chapman in 2010, Randy Martin was promoted to the Chief's position. Since Chief Martin has been in office, he wanted to bring the department under the accreditation of C.A.L.E.A. In 2012, Arkansas State University was awarded accreditation through C.A.L.E.A. and was also the first department to utilize a new system designed for a virtually paperless accreditation process. Currently the department consists of 22 full time police officers, 4 full time communications officers and an administrative assistant.
Administration oversees the day-to-day operations of University Police and also serves as a liaison to the other divisions within the University to ensure that campus remains a safe place for students, faculty, and staff.
The University Police Department will fairly and with due diligence investigate each criminal case brought before it. Each criminal incident will be viewed with the objective of using solvability factors as a guide to time spent on a case. Every criminal incident will be worked thoroughly but the rights of all persons will be respected at all times.
It is also the goal of the University Police Department to work with various departments on campus in investigating internal administrative matters involving employees and associates of the University.
The largest division of the University Police Department is the patrol division. The patrol division consist of state certified police officers that use the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving strategies.
The patrol division provides safety for the campus populace. This includes all students, faculty, staff and visitors to the campus. Also the officers are in charge of security for all of the buildings on campus. These officers are responsible for protecting life, conducting investigations, enforcing Arkansas criminal and traffic laws, enforcing A.S.U. policy, and when necessary these officers identify suspects and make arrests.
All of our patrol officers are certified as police officers at either of the following police academies; Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in Camden, AR, or B.R.T.C. Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pocahontas, AR. Our officers attend training each year on active shooters, firearms, self defense, bias based policing, ethics, as well as many other law enforcement topics.
Our department utilizes a varied fleet of patrol vehicles to include police interceptors, segways, golf carts, micro vans, and a Polaris ranger.
In 2008, the Arkansas State University Police Department began an accreditation process with the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. This program will show that our department will adhere to the highest standards of professionalism and excellence which is vital to the success of our department in fulfilling our mission of protecting the students, faculty, staff and visitors that pass through each day. The University Police Department was awarded accredited status in 2009. In 2011, the University Police Department began self-assessment through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and was awarded standard accreditation through CALEA in the summer of 2012.
The Communication Center is located in RM 2166 of the Reng Student Services Center (Student Union). The Communication Center operates 24hrs a day, seven days a week. The Communication Center employs four full time communication operators that are responsible for answering telephones, operating the police radio, monitoring campus alarm systems, and keeping up with the computerized logs.