Cumberland University


CU starts campus watch program


Cumberland University has created a new campus watch program to help further protect its growing campus community. Recently instituted, the initiative will allow students, faculty, and staff to anonymously report suspicious activity at any time by leaving a voice message on a campus hotline.

Michael Thornhill, Cumberland’s director of security, is overseeing the program.

“The campus watch program helps give our students an even safer learning environment,” Thornhill said. “We’ve started the program to get the campus community involved to let us know if there’s anything we need to know about on campus.”

Thornhill and Joe Gray, Cumberland’s vice president for administration, are immediately paged once a new voice message is received. Cumberland’s security force then follows up, investigating the tips. According to Thornhill, the program is particularly important because it provides a way for students to anonymously report suspicious activity without having to contact security in person.

The program is one of a number of recently instituted security initiatives at the liberal arts university. In January 2012, Cumberland’s security force updated its security reporting systems to a new, paperless log system that allows its officers to spend less time doing paperwork and more time patrolling campus.

“We probably advanced 10 years in the past year,” Thornhill said.

Cumberland’s security program also recently provided updated campus maps to the Lebanon police and fire departments to allow for better emergency response.

These new developments have enhanced Cumberland’s existing security program, which is operated by Citadel Security Services. The university’s security officers run campus and building patrols 24 hours a day. Cumberland’s campus is also equipped with a number of Code Blue phones, which allow students, staff, and faculty to immediately contact Cumberland security in emergency situations.

Those standing and ongoing security measures are part of Cumberland’s commitment to campus safety, according to Thornhill.

“Cumberland’s campus is very safe because we have made security a main priority,” said Thornhill. “Our officers have a very high presence on campus, and we’re working every day to keep our campus community safe.”

Cumberland students, faculty, and staff may contact the campus watch program at (615) 453-6333.