Note to bad guys: TUPD Officer Kia Wiliams is out there and determined to protect the faculty, staff and students on TU’s campus!
Victim awareness programs and crime prevention are both phrases synonymous with Officer Williams, a high energy innovator who constantly seeks to improve safety and provide the campus community with the best methods of avoiding being victims of crime.
Coming from a state correctional facility, Officer Williams recently said one of the reasons she chose to work at Towson was because she wanted to see what it was like working with the good guys, i.e. people who weren’t incarcerated. Initially a patrol officer, she became TU’s community outreach officer in 2010 upon the retirement of Cpl. George Morgan.
Committed to crime prevention, Officer Williams adopted some “best practices” from other schools and developed several of her own. With her help, TU has implemented a personal property registration program that allows employees and students to register online their personal computers, iPods, bikes, etc. using the item’s serial number. That data is then keyed into a national database and if the registered property is stolen, greatly increases the chances of it being recovered. Available 24/7, this service is free and information can be accessed here.
Officer Williams also promotes crime prevention using the written word. She has developed a monthly newsletter to provide basic crime prevention tips to the campus community, called TUPD Times. Another great place for crime fighting tips is The Crime Prevention and Reporting website, which promotes residential, workplace, vehicular, and identify security. It even has a section specifically for women!
A student program Officer Williams created for the semester’s end is the “Finals Frenzy.” Providing coffee and nutrition bars to start the day during those frantic final testing days is her way of making a difference to students too frazzled to think of food.
In April 2011, Officer Williams started The Citizens on Patrol walk in recognition of National Victims’ Rights week. The walk has increased awareness of crime prevention with the help of McGruff, the crime-fighting dog. This year, to further expand this program, she contacted Howard County police officer Bonita Linkins, who suffered for years as a domestic violence victim. Now a motivational speaker and author of Why Did I Stay, Officer Linkins agreed to come to Towson and will be speaking about her personal journey dealing with abuse. She will be speaking in the West Village Commons in Ballroom C from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 26.
In the short amount of time that Officer Williams has been on campus, she has helped the Crime Prevention Unit make a notable difference to our staff and students. She continues working closely with the Health Center, the Counseling Center, student groups and campus departments to provide crime prevention information and assistance.
Williams says, “If I can affect at least one person during my day, then my job is complete.” With her concentrated focus on the staff and students here, they could have no better advocate.