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Wrong Rhonda Harris?

Rhonda L. Harris

Assistant Vice President and Chief of Police

Old Dominion University

HQ Phone:  (757) 683-3000

Direct Phone: (757) ***-****direct phone

Email: r***@***.edu

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Old Dominion University

2102 Constant Hall

Norfolk, Virginia, 23529

United States

Company Description

Old Dominion University, located in Norfolk, is a dynamic public research institution that serves its students and enriches the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation and the world through rigorous academic programs, strategic partnerships, active civic engageme...more

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Web References(39 Total References)


The Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy Board

Rhonda Harris, Chief of Police, Old Dominion University


Specialized Police Tactics Training Courses -Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Academy

Chief Rhonda Harris, is currently the chief of the Old Dominion University Police Department.


Chief Operating Officer - Old Dominion University

Rhonda Harris
757-683-4007


City Light Capital - News

"This is about enhancing campus safety," ODU Chief of Police Rhonda Harris said.


Campus Security Report - Official Website

"This is the most critical area we want to keep safe," said Rhonda L. Harris, assistant vice president of public safety and chief of police at Old Dominion University in Virginia.
Living in residence halls presents opportunities for students to engage with the campus and take part in learning opportunities outside the classroom. But residence halls also present safety challenges. "This is the most critical area we want to keep safe," said Rhonda L. Harris, assistant vice president of public safety and chief of police at Old Dominion University in Virginia. The number of burglaries in residence halls at ODU has dropped by nearly 67 percent since 2012, when Harris became police chief. And burglaries are just one of many crimes that can occur in residential areas. Harris has led a multitiered approach to residence hall safety that includes security measures, policies, and education. Security measures. Residence hall access is controlled by swipe cards. Plus, ODU has added staff in the lobby of each hall. Many of those staff members are students, including resident assistants. They provide a visual deterrence to individuals who shouldn't be in the building and speak to people who look like they don't belong there, Harris said. They also remind students of the policies regarding bringing guests into the building. fter hours, guests must sign in as they enter. he residence hall windows have security screens to prevent anyone from going in through a window, Harris said. If a screen were removed, it would be evident to security patrols, and a maintenance call would be required to put it back in, Harris said. f there's reason to believe that someone gained unauthorized access to a residence hall, security officers can review video footage to find out what the person looked like and which way they went. The cameras aren't monitored in real time, but the video is stored and can be easily accessed when needed, Harris said. Two major changes Harris has made since 2012 are changing the locking mechanisms on individual rooms or apartments and increasing security patrols in the evening. The door to each residential unit now locks automatically when it is closed, Harris said. A common scenario for theft is that a student has a visitor who brings a friend. The friend gets bored and starts shaking doorknobs. With the changed locking mechanisms, that strategy doesn't result in entry, Harris said. The increased security patrols around the residence halls in the evenings mean that officers can spot situations before problems occur. If they see people congregating outside a residence hall, they make contact with those people and encourage those who don't need to enter the building to move along. Policies. Visitation policies help control who is in the residence halls and when they can be there. Students who wish to have overnight guests must make arrangements in advance with the residence hall staff. Exceptions can be made in case of emergency, or if a guest, say a younger sibling, arrives by surprise, Harris said. But in most cases, if the proper arrangements have not been made, guests are encouraged to find other places to sleep, Harris said. The goal to having some flexibility is to keep the bad people out, but to support a good quality of life for the students living in the residence hall, she said.Guests in the building after a certain time must be signed in.And policies limit the number of guests that can be present in a room, apartment, or bedroom in an apartment. Education. "The university has done a great job of creating a community environment so people feel responsibility for other people," Harris said. The focus is on helping students make smart decisions about safety. Education about campus safety starts with the campus tour, she said. Once students are admitted, they can attend a preview program where they hear about safety from the campus police, and students who plan to live in residence halls also hear about it from the residence hall staff. Harris meets with the director of housing and residence life every month. Some of Harris' staff members meet regularly with other members of that department. Police officers train resident assistants at the beginning of each academic year. They cover everything from building access to the Clery Act to active shooter response, Harris said. "Safety is everyone's responsibility," Harris said. That's a key message of education efforts at the university, she said. Helping young people understand their role in creating a safe campus is a difficult but important task, she added. The campus adopted the LiveSafe app that enables students to text tips to the police department. They can be anonymous if they wish, she said. The app has been really helpful, Harris said. Students love it and feel comfortable using it, she added. For example, a student might text "There are a couple of guys hanging by this door. The text goes straight to dispatch and to all the command staff in Harris' unit. Harris was a little hesitant to implement the app because it was a big investment and she didn't know how students would respond to it. But it has been very effective, she said. Email Rhonda L. Harris atrlharris@odu.edu.


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