Department of the Year Award

2020 National Finalist

The Department of the Year Award recognizes outstanding accomplishment in student and campus safety by a U.S. college or university administrative department.


Santa Fe College
Police Department

Safe Santa Fe is a comprehensive term used to describe almost all programs and efforts that are carried out by the Santa Fe College Police Department which has resulted in dramatic crime reduction over the last several years and a safer College environment and community. Initiatives are designed to ensure that all students, faculty, staff and visitors at the College are routinely and habitually thinking about safety and appropriately concerned about security and engaging in crime prevention practices. Efforts, initiatives, and results of the “Safe Santa Fe” comprehensive programming include:

  • Crime Reduction – Uniform Crime Report (UCR) crime statistics confirm that Santa Fe College crime has reduced dramatically from 89 incidents in 2011 to 18 in 2018. Crime has been consistently very low from 2014 and remains consistently low thus far in 2019.
  • Branding and messaging. The Safe Santa Fe title and logo appears consistently in all programs, presentations, messages, signs, printed materials, electronic newsletters, and social media.
  • Community policing partnerships. Critical to leveraging safe practices campus-wide. Internally most directly with students via regular participation with Student Government, Student Life, the Counseling Department, Title IX / Equity office and the Behavioral Intervention (threat assessment) Team. Externally via 7 formal mutual aid agreements with other jurisdictional law enforcement agencies and the State Attorney’s office in the College service district.
  • Professional Development. A college can only be safe and secure if the law enforcement personnel who are a part of that fabric are professionally trained and equipped. Training strengthens relationships and trust and credibility by others knowing that their police officers and agency personnel are “up to the task.” Training provided to personnel has put SF College at the forefront of law enforcement expertise in a variety of areas compared to other community college institutions. The Department has in-house firearms, driving, taser, body-worn camera, and active threat instructors. 100% of the sworn personnel are “CIT” (crisis intervention team geared toward mental health) certified via a 1-week class. The agency has 5 RAD (rape aggression defense) instructors who host several free classes a year for women, & 5 sworn personnel trained in crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED). Additional diverse training includes field training officers, trauma response, first aid and stop the bleed, radar, laser, and interviews and interrogations. All dispatchers and most of the sworn personnel are State certified.
  • Special events and training to staff and students. “Safe Santa Fe Days” in the Fall, Safe Spring Break events, Safety and Civility, and Front Line Safety are all large special events or certificate-based training provided to students and staff regularly. CampusWatch training has been provided to over 1,000 staff and students.

Santa Fe College takes safety and security seriously. This Police Department is one of only five Florida College System community colleges with a full-time on-campus police department out of 28 institutions. At 26 personnel total including 18 fully sworn members 5 dispatchers, and support personnel, the police department is responsible for a voluminous amount of duties related to the College.

The Safe Santa Fe initiative will continue to be the flagship title of an array of efforts designed to ensure a safe and secure learning environment for all students, faculty, staff and visitors.

More information can be found here:


Award Luncheon

The 2020 Department of the Year Award will be presented to Santa Fe College along with the Department of the Year Award winner and co-finalist at the National Campus Safety Summit Award Luncheon on February 26, 2020 (Day 1 of the conference).

All conference attendees are welcome at the (free) gourmet buffet luncheon. Join us in honoring this year’s recipients.

View the full 2020 Top 25 List