Executive Director of Public Safety Yolanda Smith shared updates on the Department of Public Safety’s efforts to support the University anti-racism initiatives in an email to the Tufts community on Wednesday.
The email stated that the changes are the result of the 2021 final report on campus safety and policingwho established the TUPD Armament Task Force as well as detailed other recommended structural changes and community engagement efforts.
Smith noted in the email that over the summer, DPS updated its core values and its mission and vision statements, at “clearly reflect our commitment to ensuring the physical, psychological and emotional safety of all members of the Tufts community.
The updated vision statement includes direct mention of the department’s anti-racism initiatives, stating that DPS will be a “model of progressive excellence in campus safety and policing using a hybrid model with differential response training; mentor employees to act with compassion, professionalism and integrity. »
The email also said DPS would expand the training process for all TUPD officers to include a focus on “implicit bias, harassment-related discrimination, active participation and mental health awareness.” . Over the summer, officers also received additional training from a non-law enforcement agency on healing and empathy, which DPS plans to continue.
The Department also announced that two new roles have been created to “strengthen the Department’s relationship with the campus community.” According to the email, a new communications manager at DPS will be responsible for updating the department’s website and social media channels.
The second new position is that of campus security officer who will handle non-emergency situations on campus, such as lockouts and missing items, that do not require uniformed officers. According to the email, the SMFA and Boston Health Sciences campuses already employ CSOs.
Other upcoming changes noted in the email include welcoming a comfort dog to help with mental health and non-emergency incidents, a “new and less bulky cruiser design”, uniform patches which express the department’s “commitment to the community” and a survey, which is planned for next fall, to gauge the community’s response to the aforementioned changes.
Smith closed the email by reiterating DPS and Tufts’ continued commitment to keeping the community safe and working for an anti-racist institution.
“While we have made progress over the past several months in transforming the Department of Public Safety to support the university’s anti-racism goals, there is more to come,” Smith wrote.