Dixie State University vice president awarded for community-oriented policing

The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators honored Dixie State University Vice President of Administrative Affairs Paul Morris with the 2020-21 Award for Innovations in Community Oriented Policing this week.

Morris, who has supervisory and administrative responsibility for the safety and security of the university community, received the award for his service and initiative in supporting the promotion of community-oriented policing. Morris and DSU Police Chief Blair Barfuss have worked closely together to create a culture of community-oriented policing in the university’s Department of Public Safety by implementing innovative programs.

“The commitment to improved and ongoing community-oriented policing innovation is foundational and essential to the mission, values and ultimate success of the Dixie State University Department of Public Safety,” Barfuss said. “We were selected among a very competitive and well deserving group of well-known and nationally recognized universities.”

Morris and Barfuss collaborated to create two positions dedicated to community-oriented policing. The student housing liaison officer is responsible for all student housing questions, concerns, training, needs and assistance. The campus-wide community-oriented policing officer provides staff, faculty and student groups with assistance, training and special accommodations.

Additionally, the DSU Department of Public Safety created a comprehensive transparency website in response to calls for transparency and concerns with racial equality. This resource opened communication and solidified DSU Public Safety’s accountability with the community by providing complete access to departmental policy and procedures.

In another effort to enhance community engagement, DSU Public Safety created the Police Patch Project, which partners with various community organizations to raise awareness and funds for the causes they represent. Organizations the project is currently aligned with include the DSU Veterans Club, DSU Disability Resource Center, Intermountain Healthcare Cancer Center, DSU Booth Wellness Center, DOVE Center, DSU Academics and DSU Athletics.

Responding to community interest, DSU Public Safety has also created the Self-Defense Awareness and Female Empowerment (SAFE) Course, taught by Public Safety staff members. Each SAFE Course is limited to 12 participants to provide personal instruction and high engagement through four separate, two-hour long class sessions. Each SAFE Course offered in the past year has been filled within minutes of being announced.

In addition, to Morris’ honor, Ron Bridge, captain of Dixie State Police, was nominated for the Excellence in Administration award. Outside of International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators recognition this year, Barfuss received the NAACP First Responders award in January for DSU Public Safety’s work enhancing equality, transparency and advocacy

To learn more about the Dixie State University Department of Public Safety, visit publicsafety.dixie.edu.