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Campus Security (DPS I)


DPS house.jpg

Opened: 1964
Closed: 1970

As a result of the growth of the student population in the years following the Second World War, Central established its first security force in the late 1950s. At that time, the security force was small and was only beginning to establish itself on campus. In May 1963, the department obtained four mobile radios to facilitate contact between members of the department. One radio was installed at the office of the superintendent of grounds and buildings and another was installed in the home office on Franklin Street. A third radio went in the single patrol car, and the fourth was installed in the newly constructed heating plant, which also served as the center for incoming calls during night hours, when security members were off-duty.

Campus Security moved into a new home in 1964, a small pink house located at 3659 South Franklin (on the site of present-day Moore Hall). The newspaper reported that the move happened quickly and at least one officer was not notified of the new location of headquarters. The new location expanded the office space available to campus security and also had a garage for the patrol car. The house remained the headquarters for Campus Security until planning and construction began on Moore Hall in the late 1960s.

In April 1968, Campus Security moved to its new headquarters at 518 Preston Avenue, across the street from Alumni Field and on the site of present-day Foust Hall. The building the department moved into was actually an aging house that was remodeled and repainted to meet the needs of its new occupants. A circular drive was created in front of the house and a driveway connecting the parking lot behind it to Preston was laid. Inside, crews created a reception room, two large offices for staff members, and two offices for officer use. The new house was twice the size of the old facilities, but it had its own limitations and inconveniences, including the fact that the front office was located in the garage, the radio room in the breezeway, and the director's office in an upstairs bedroom. The house was also not energy efficient and had high operating costs.

In September 1969, after a lengthy review and report from an outside evaluation, the University announced that Campus Security would become the Department of Public Safety (DPS). This came in reaction to rising tensions and increasingly hostile encounters between students and security personnel. Many University officials believed that the name "security" implied a correlation with some kind of police force. Since the department served a wide variety of campus needs, including but certainly not limited to police actions, the new name more accurately described the duties of the department.

In 1970, the University announced the construction of a new Health Services Building (later to become Foust Hall) on the site of the Department of Public Safety Building. The house in which DPS was headquartered had to be moved before construction could begin on the new building, so the entire structure was lifted and moved east to 700 East Preston Avenue, on the corner of East Campus Drive and across the street from Alumni Field. Although proposals for a new DPS building were brought to the Board of Trustees multiple times, this remained the home of DPS for almost two decades.

In 1990, the Department of Public Safety moved into the newly constructed Combined Services Building, located just south of the power plant on East Campus Drive. The abandoned house on the corner of Preston and East Campus Drive was originally scheduled for demolition, but was in fact relocated once more. A private contractor arranged for both the home and garage to be transported to private sites. The home went to a building site in Blanchard, while the garage was moved to a different, unknown location.