The first move Longwood Police Chief Doug Mooney made when he took the helm of the department—which for the past decade has been ranked in the top 20 nationally—nearly a year ago was to establish a Community Relations Panel.
Comprised of students, faculty, and staff members, the aim was to brainstorm ways to integrate the police department, a fully sworn and operational law enforcement unit, into the university community in deeper and positive ways—to work together as partners.
But like most things in 2020, that work was upended by a nationwide pandemic that limited face-to-face meetings and the scope of community-building ideas that could be implemented.
“Covid has been the monkey wrench that nobody expected,” said Mooney. “The panel has met several times over Zoom, and there are a lot of really great ideas I think are going to be effective that I’m looking forward to putting into place in the Fall. This campus community is really special, and I’m looking forward to continuing to build it stronger together.”
Over the past decade or so, the Longwood Police Department has really transformed into one of the best college departments in the state on almost every measure.Chief Doug Mooney ‘86 Tweet This
Chief Doug Mooney ‘86 took the helm of the Longwood Police Department last July when longtime Chief Bob Beach retired, making a full circle of a career that began in the same department. As a Longwood student in the mid-1980s, Mooney was a member of the student auxiliary police department before leaving school to take a job with Chesterfield County Police.
A 33-year law enforcement veteran, Mooney served as the Farmville Police Chief from 2010-15—working closely with Beach—and knew that he was walking into a campus community where safety was prioritized.
“I was very familiar with campus,” he said. “Not only is it a special place for me personally--I met my wife as a student here and both of my children are Longwood graduates--but I came to know students and faculty from being in Farmville for many years. Over the past decade or so, the Longwood Police Department has really transformed into one of the best college departments in the state on almost every measure. Our crime rates are extraordinarily low and we have embraced technology so we have these incredible tools we use to protect students.”
Walking into that situation gives a police chief the freedom to immediately start building a culture in the police department that reflects Mooney’s goals: a safe campus where the community and police have a deep foundation of trust and mutual respect.
In addition to technological upgrades that will soon see modern beacons and message boards installed in residence halls, expanding how alert messages are communicated to students and improved card access on campus, Mooney is looking forward to launching a Campus Community Police Academy—an idea that he organized in Farmville that has been wildly successful.
“A big goal over the next year is that our students, faculty and staff understand better what it is that the police department does and who we are,” he said. “A community police academy is perfect for that. It’ll be open to anyone on campus to join these sessions and learn about our department, go on a ride-along, take classes in special operations and forensics, and get to know us as officers. They tend to be very popular and I’m looking forward to establishing that on campus.”
LUPD At A Glance
- Police Chief: Doug Mooney ‘86
- Leadership: 2 Lieutenants, 4 Sergeants
- Officers: 16 full-time, 4 part-time
- Experience: 300+ years of law enforcement experience between officers
- Security cameras: 400+
- Blue Light phones: 48
- Officers: 16 full-time, 4 part-time
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