Bob Roberts, chief of University Police at West Virginia University , is a candidate for a national award honoring top police chiefs and security directors of schools, universities and hospitals.

Roberts is among 18 finalists for the 2008 Campus Safety Director of the Year Award . The award winner will be announced at the Campus Safety Conference April 26-28 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

I think this honor speaks highly of the whole department,said Roberts, who was nominated for the award by his staff.The officers patrolling the campus, the dispatchers taking the calls and the rest of the staff are the ones who get the work done.

Campus Safety , a magazine for professionals responsible for security at major hospitals, schools and universities in the United States, created the award in 2006 to recognize campus police chiefs or security directors who go beyond the call of duty.

Candidates are judged based on several criteria, including outstanding leadership, ability to motivate employees, good community relations and excellence at handling budget issues.

This years finalists oversee the safety of hospital and school campuses from Connecticut to California.

Roberts has been director of University Police since 1989. He supervises a department of 62 employees, including 52 officers.

He made Campus Safetys final cut based on the following achievements:

Preparing a campus emergency response plan , which defines various levels of emergencies and outlines the procedures for responding to them. This was the only higher education program among the semifinalists for the 2008 International Association of Chiefs of Police/Motorola Webber Seavey Awards for Quality in Law Enforcement.

Serving as a panelist on the West Virginia Homeland Security Summit

Working to improve recruitment and standards and to raise employee pay so that it is commensurate with other local police agencies

Achieving several improvements on a budget that is the lowest per student compared to peer institutions

Overseeing the safety of a campus with the lowest crime rate among peer and Big East institutions, according to a survey of 2007 campus crime statistics

Ongoing work on a proposed command and control center on campus

Other accomplishments cited in his nomination include increasing diversity in the department, working with student leaders to establish a multifaceted campus alert system, employing student cadets to supplement patrols, working with other public safety agencies on mutual response activities and integrating computer technology into all of the departments operations.

Capt. Rick Jackson said Robertsaccomplishments in his 20 years as chief are lasting and far-reaching.

Our department has seen continued growth and vastly increased services for our community,Jackson said.Chief Roberts has established partnerships on campus, in our community and throughout the state. He has also consulted with various institutions across the nation.

His innovations and efforts positively affecting our everyday safety by nature go mostly unseen,he added.We felt that the time has come for him to be honored and recognized within his profession.

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