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Bentley University Police Chief Recognized as Leader in Campus Public Safety Initiatives
Bentley University Police Chief Ernie Leffler received the James Olivieri Award from the Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (MACLEA). The award, which recognizes Leffler’s exemplary commitment and distinguished service to MACLEA and to professional campus policing, was presented at the MACLEA annual meeting in December.
Leffler has consulted with other campus police agencies and conducted risk assessments at various universities in the U.S. to provide recommendations to improve overall services and safety practices.
“It’s important to share information, ideas and knowledge with our colleagues because we typically experience similar issues and problems on our respective campuses,” Leffler notes. “We regularly share information about best practices with respect to crime prevention, safety programming and crime trends in order to keep our campuses safe.”
During the past 15 years as chief of the Bentley Police Department, Leffler has implemented a number of professional standards. He created screening and hiring standards for all department personnel, and minimum training standards that include mandatory full-time police academy training for police officers. In 2004, he attained Board of Trustee approval to arm police personnel.
For the Bentley community, he developed a comprehensive community policing philosophy and promoted safety awareness with a number of initiatives, including:
- RAD (Rape Aggression Defense Systems) program, a means of prevention and self-defense designed specifically for women
- Mandatory First Week safety program to all new students
- Summer Orientation safety presentation for parents of incoming first-year students
- Officer participation in Breakfast by Moonlight, summer orientation programs, safety presentations
- Annual Holiday Toy Drive collecting gifts for needy children in the city of Waltham and beyond
- Creation of an emergency notification system to alert community of incidents on campus
- Collaborated with Student Affairs and IT to develop an electronic upload system to share incident reports with campus departments
- Worked with Facilities Management in upgrading building access control, CCTV cameras and alarm systems throughout campus
- Ensure that campus crime reporting standards are met in compliance with Clery Act
Leffler is a member of the executive board of the Massachusetts Chief of Police Association and serves as the college and university police representative. He has also served as the North Atlantic Regional Director for the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, representing colleges and universities in the New England states. He is past president of the Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and currently serves as treasurer.
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.