November 13, 2007

CUPD Wins State, National Awards

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Though driving conditions in Ithaca may not always be ideal, traffic safety on campus is certainly not lacking, according to state and national law enforcement agencies. The Cornell University Police Department has been chosen as the recipient of both a state and a national level traffic safety award for the 2006 calendar year.
Cornell Police came in first place in the New York Law Enforcement Challenge for 2006. It was the only university-based department to be the recipient of this New York State award.
CUPD was also recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police — the department finished second in the U.S. National Law Enforcement Challenge. Cornell won in the larger of two university police categories, which was defined as having 41 or more officers. The University of Maryland Department of Campus Safety took the top spot in this category.
“University of Maryland is pretty tough to beat with almost twice as many officers as Cornell,” said Bob Wall, law enforcement liaison for the IACP and coordinator of the National Law Enforcement Challenge. “They only won by 2.5 points, so Cornell was right in the running. The next school behind you was 10 points behind.”
All university winners were at least partially publicly funded universities. The overwhelming majority of entrants were partial or fully public schools.
“There were about 20 universities who entered the competition,” Wall said. “That is the most universities we’ve ever had enter on a national level, so Cornell did pretty well.”
Cornell won both awards for excellence in traffic safety, including generating awareness and preventing impaired driving and speeding. The percentage of injuries and fatalities on campus related to alcohol and speeding were taken into consideration when choosing the award recipients, as well as citation statistics for speeding and driving under the influence.
“We are glad our peers recognize how Cornell Police programs help to make the campus, and surrounding areas, safer for all,” said CUPD Director Curtis Ostrander in a University press release. “Such national recognition highlights what our officers and staff do every day, all day.”
“This is the first year I’ve had a car on campus,” said Scott Grandt ’08. “Coming from a very developed area I can appreciate good traffic flow, and I think that the traffic management at Cornell is exceptional. There’s a pretty noticeable difference once you are driving on campus from the rest of the City.”
Cornell Police has 60 department members, 47 of whom are sworn officers who patrol campus. The awards are the result of the efforts of these members, particularly their traffic-safety initiatives such as the C.U. Click it or Ticket program and the Child Safety Seat Program, which provides information to Cornell parents about child safety car seats and also provides free car seats to qualified parents.
Since the inception of the C.U. Click it or Ticket program, seat belt usage on the Cornell campus has increased from 69 to 91 percent in different random checkpoint evaluations.