In 10 years as head of the OSU-Tulsa Police, Chief Melvin Murdock counts his department’s selection for the campus Orange Pride Award among the highlights.
Recently, Dr. Ron Bussert, OSU-Tulsa vice president for administration and finance, on behalf of President Howard Barnett and his executive group, presented the department with the award, which recognizes employees who go above and beyond their normal job duties in service to OSU-Tulsa.
Typically an individual honor, the department was the first group to be recognized with the quarterly award. The executive group’s vote to break that tradition was unanimous.
“The fact was really heartening to me,” Murdock said. “Our officers work long hours to ensure that the campus is safe. But they wouldn’t be able to do that without the strong support of our civilian personnel.”
OSU-Tulsa police are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to emergency situations and investigate suspicious activity on campus.
“We have one of the lowest crime rates in the Big 12,” Murdock said. “I believe in being proactive rather than reactive when it comes to the safety of our students, faculty and staff.”
One of the accomplishments that helped lay the foundation for the agency’s drive to excellence began with certification by the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police. In 2011, the department became the first small agency statewide to achieve level one certification from the association and one of only 16 agencies certified in the state.
Every aspect of the OSU-Tulsa Police Department was evaluated in depth, including policies, procedures, operations and employee training. In addition, the department was required to meet national standards in 12 critical areas to achieve certification. The department was recertified in 2014 and is working on a new requirement to be accredited by the association in 2017.
“That OACP certification is one of our most significant accomplishments,” Murdock said.
Earlier this year, Murdock participated in Leadership Tulsa, a flagship program that helps local leaders build personal, professional and leadership skills. He traveled to the White House this summer to participate in an invitation-only briefing on how to improve policing throughout the country.
“I believe that being on the cutting edge of technology and practices is necessary. That is why we do so much preparation behind the scenes,” he said.
In addition, to community outreach, the department has launched numerous programs to expand campus safety. In 2010, the department initiated ‘Silent Witness,’ a web-based program that provides the opportunity to anonymously report suspicious behavior or criminal activity on campus. The next year, the department spearheaded OSU-Tulsa’s designation as a ‘StormReady’ campus by the National Weather Service.
And in 2014, OSU-Tulsa launched Cowboy Guardian, a free smartphone app that connects users with the OSU-Tulsa Police Department.
Murdock said the police department will continue to stay up on the latest advances in community policing and to make sure the agency is prepared for any kind of crisis.
“We take the safety of the campus community personally,” Murdock said. “Everything we do is done to make an already safe campus even safer.”
To learn more about OSU-Tulsa Police, visit the department website or call 918-594-8124. In case of emergency, call the OSU-Tulsa Police at 918-594-8123.To learn more about Cowboy Guardian app or to download it, visit the Cowboy Guardian website.