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Departmental Divisions

Command Staff

Chief of the Department of Public Safety - Gregory Elder
The Chief works daily to set the direction of the department, answers department and community concerns. Develops good working relationships with the Command Level personnel at other local police and public safety agencies while obtaining the necessary resources for BCU DPS.

Captain – Nels Pate
Captain's provide direct support to the Cheif by overseeing the operations, Division, and Support Service Divisions, investigation, internal affairs, communication, parking/traffic and training. The captain also serves in a variety of ways to carry out the mission of the Department of Public Safety.

Crime Prevention, Reduction and Awareness

Effective crime prevention, reduction and awareness are joint efforts of the entire university community.  Bethune – Cookman University utilize several programs and systems to promote awareness to student, faculty and staff about campus safety.

  • New Student Orientation
  • Student and Employee Safety and Security Workshops
  • Availability of safety awareness materials
  • Informational and educational safety program
  • Student Wildcat Crime Watch Task Force
  • Conflict resolution and intervention
  • Crime Alerts and Awareness notifications
  • Assess crime trends and statistics
  • Assess safety planning needs for various university wide activities
  • Make available prevention tools (engraving machines, security marking pens personal inventory logs and courtesy info cards ) for the entire university community


Bethune – Cookman University is highly proactive in maintaining a safe and secure academic environment in which our students can succeed.  As part of a comprehensive effort within the Department of Public Safety we have established a very effective investigation process to solve crime and prevent repeat offenses.

The investigation process at Bethune Cookman University, include criminal and administrative investigation into alleged violation of law or the Student Code of Conduct that occur on university property or within its statutory jurisdiction.  This is done in cooperation with other local and state agencies and the university’s Judicial Affairs office.

The investigation process is currently under the direct supervision of the Lieutenant.

If you see a crime occurring on campus or you are a victim of a crime, please report it immediately: 

  • Investigations email
  • DPS Dispatcher 386-481-2900
  • Emergencies - 9-1-1 

Public Service Officers

Bethune- Cookman has uniformed civilians that perform a myriad of functions for the department, including, patrolling university properties, assisting with traffic control, providing information and assistance to members of the university community and its guest, while being responsible for the protection and safety of persons, property and buildings on campus.  Each Public Service Officer completes 120 hours of training which includes 40 hours of State of Florida Security Officer Class D certification training.


Training within the Department of Public Safety is an ongoing process for all the employees within the department.  This training includes but is not limited to; CPR, First Aid, AED, tactical communication, human diversity, domestic violence, sexual harassment, critical incident response, conflict resolution, Clery and Title IX compliance.

Parking Management

Access to Bethune Cookman University parking facilities are controlled with the use of valid parking decals and/or passes issued and monitored by the Department of Public Safety. Decals may be purchased by University faculty / staff and/or students. Valid parking passes may be obtained for campus visitors, vendors and/or by valid decal-holders (on a temporary basis).

Any vehicle parked on campus without a valid parking decal or pass displayed is subject to ticketing, and/or towing at owner's expense. This also applies to “Reserved” parking areas, the University offers no guarantee of a parking space in a convenient area, but there is adequate space available.

Emergency Management

  • Emergencies & Alerts: Whether it’s a severe weather occurrence or an important health notice, the University will make every effort to inform the campus community of emergency situations on campus. In most instances, students, faculty and staff will receive alerts via e-mail and/or automated voice mails. In addition, alerts are posted on the University website.
  • Timely Warning Notices: Campus Safety Alerts: To help prevent crimes or serious incidents, BCU Department of Public Safety (BCUDPS), in conjunction with other departments on campus, issues campus safety alerts in a timely manner to notify community members about certain crimes in and around our community. Members of the community who know of a crime or other serious incident should report that incident as soon as possible to BCUDPS so that a campus safety alert can be issued if warranted. If community members report crimes or serious incidents to other University administrators, those administrators will notify BCUDPS. Representatives of these offices will promptly notify and collaborate with the BCUDPS to issue a Campus Safety Alert if one is appropriate.
  • Distribution of Campus Safety Alerts: The BCU Department of Public Safety distributes campus safety alerts in various ways. Once the University determines that an alert will be issued, the Department then e-mails the announcement to faculty, staff and students. The Department will also post flyers on bulletin boards throughout campus. Alerts also will appear on the University website when warranted.
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