Much like other professions, effective campus safety begins at the top. Having a strong leader overseeing the entire team, system, and protocol is of the utmost importance when it comes to campus safety. Without the right person at the forefront of the department, campuses are putting themselves at both a disadvantage and potential risk.

Unfortunately, campus safety has become more of a prominent discussion in recent years. Though it has always been an integral component of any education system, it has become an increasingly popular point of discussion amongst the media. Ensuring that campuses across the nation are employing strong and able leaders to spearhead their safety initiatives should be at the forefront of these discussions.

Strong leadership is a quintessential key to success in any industry, but most certainly when it comes to campus safety. Employing professionals that are not only passionate about their work but who also take pride in their role as a leader is of utmost importance. Without having an authoritative figure at the helm, dictating best practices and offering confidence and perspective based on their experience, campuses are quite simply leaving a lot on the table. Leaders in this field need to have a firm vision or direction, and they need to be able to effectively convey that across varying departments and levels of authority.

Often, leadership in campus safety has a close relationship with outside agencies and thus, an unparalleled level of communication and intuition is of utmost importance. In a time when assaults and other crimes near campus have heightened both community concerns and police responses, it’s imperative that these leaders work well and smoothly with outside agencies. Furthermore, these leaders need to be prepared and have the necessary training and equipment to respond to those events that might occur. A certain level of attentiveness, integrity, and dependability also play a vital role in your leader’s ability to perform to necessary standards when it comes to campus safety.

Possessing such qualities is not the only component that makes up a great leader. Health and wellness for public safety personnel are critical in building and maintaining a sound defense. Strong leaders understand that their performance starts within themselves. Taking the time to care for themselves not only physically and internally but also mentally plays just as much of a role in their overall success. Being cognizant of their well-being and the potential burn-out is what sets strong leaders apart from rest. Listening to their bodies and knowing when it’s time to rest and work on themselves is a quality that only the strongest leaders possess.

Ultimately, effective campus safety can save lives, and it starts with those leaders.