Moving Forward Together: Leadership Spotlight
Mark Welker, Chief of EKU Police
Mark Welker, chief of the EKU Police Department, is featured in this ongoing series designed to allow EKU leaders to discuss their roles as well as campus issues. Welker, who was named chief in June 2004, began his university law enforcement career in 1986 at Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis. Since then he has served several law enforcement agencies, including DePauw University, University of Tennessee and, most recently, Robert Morris University. He holds a bachelor's degree in police science and administration from Northern Arizona University and has completed 15 hours of graduate coursework toward safety science.
Chief of EKU Police
What would you most want the campus to know about EKU Police?
The EKU Police Department employs 24 sworn police personnel, three dispatchers, a senior office associate, and seven student cadets. In addition, the Parking and Transportation Department reports to the police chief’s office and it consists of an assistant director, four parking enforcement officers, one office supervisor, two office associates, and five motor vehicle operators.
We would also like the campus to know that since June of 2004 the department has undergone significant changes. In addition to a new police chief, there is a new assistant police chief, three new lieutenants, two new sergeants, a newly added detective, and several new officers and dispatchers.
What are some of your major challenges and initiatives this year?
In addition to the many personnel and organizational changes that have been made during the last year, the department has adopted a Community Police Philosophy that is reflected in our new mission statement: "The mission of the Eastern Kentucky University Police Department is to enhance the quality of life by providing a safe and secure environment through professional service to the community." The success of our mission depends on this partnership utilizing a community policing philosophy. The department places high priority on honesty and integrity and values the need for effective and open communications with the community we serve. We value our employees and are committed to their professional development.
We place a great deal of emphasis on training for our personnel and routinely explore opportunities to enhance their performance by introducing new training techniques, as well as updated technology.
What can individuals do to enhance their personal safety on campus?
The department operates on a 24-7, 365 days-a-year basis and is committed to providing proactive law enforcement services, such as high visibility mobile, bicycle, and foot patrols; incident response; investigations; crime prevention and detection programs; special event security; and traffic and crowd control.
Although the EKU Police Department is ready and willing to accept the challenges of providing a safe and secure learning, working and playing environment, we encourage everyone to participate in that effort by using good judgment when it comes to protecting themselves and their property. In fact, we like to think that every student, faculty, and staff member at EKU is our partner in increasing the quality of life and decreasing criminal activity.
Are there any services provided by EKU Police that you think are under-utilized?
The department offers a wide variety of programs that can assist the campus community by increasing their awareness about safety and security issues. One of our primary new initiatives for this year is to not only offer programs, but also promote them so that the community can take advantage of those learning opportunities.