Aug. 24, 2010
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Windy Stafford, a 2000 Slippery Rock University graduate, has been named interim chief of University Police. She replaces Robert Downey Jr., who accepted a position as police chief at California University of Pennsylvania.
“I am excited and thankful, and I look forward to fulfilling the duties that have been entrusted to me,” Stafford said. “We have taken important steps to increase safety on our campus, such as implementing the Metis Secure emergency notification system. As the new school year begins, students and their parents have every reason to feel safe.”
Stafford, who received a public administration degree from SRU and grew up in Middlesex Township, joined the police department as an officer in 1997 and was later promoted to lieutenant, captain and assistant chief. The interim chief’s position includes additional budgeting and administrative duties.
The department has 15 commissioned officers, three dispatch and parking personnel and 18 student security volunteers. Students lock buildings and provide escorts.
The department is pursuing accreditation through the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission run by the Chiefs of Police Association. Accreditation would help the department obtain grants to print and distribute more crime prevention program materials and other intervention services, she said.
“We’re going to pursue that because it will add a level of professionalism to our department not seen elsewhere,” Stafford said.
Stafford was instrumental in implementing an on online method for obtaining parking decals and paying parking tickets. She said she plans to increase community policing.
Slippery Rock University is a community that at any given time can have 10,000 people in a relatively small area, between students, staff, faculty and visitors, she said. “The potential for something serious always exists in this day and age, so we have to be cognizant of that and be prepared,” Stafford said.
Constance Foley, SRU vice president of student life, appointed Stafford.
University Police operates on a 24/7 basis. Officers protect the people on the University’s 600-acre campus and off-campus facilities such as the Old Stone House. Officers patrol in vehicles and on bicycles, weather permitting
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.