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Howard Public Safety Partnerships are Model of Healing in our Communities

Chief Lyles with Students

Our nation is still reeling from the images and information coming out of Memphis and the chilling death of Tyre Nichols. African Americans have long known the dual realities of what good community policing looks like in our towns and cities and how the impacts of poor training and overworked and under-resourced officers can shatter communities with inhumane treatment and tragic outcomes. 

Howard University has the honor and obligation of working through these issues, in part, by way of our Department of Public Safety.  Even while we work in an era of distrust and are surrounded by an aura of fear and anxiety, we take great pride in our work to help build the nation's greatest generations of Black excellence through serving and protecting our faculty, staff, and students.

We love what we do and who we serve. Our work with Student Affairs, Residence Life, the HU Staff Organization, our deans, and department chairs is strengthening our campus safety culture every day. 

The most significant breadth of our engagement is with our students. We continuously conduct safety training and listening sessions in residence halls and social spaces every month during the academic year. Every fall, we host a campus-wide safety fair in conjunction with Bison Week and regularly provide safety tips and best practices to our entire campus community through regular communications. The feedback on these events has been overwhelmingly positive

We appreciate our partnerships with organizations like the HU Student Association, which has been a major force in our campaigns to build emergency management and campus safety awareness among our student body. 

We are not blind to what a badge and a uniform mean to many people in our communities, and understandably so. For those who may be continuing to battle against the images and pain associated with the tragedy in Memphis and others like it, we hope that you will take advantage of our resources for counseling and therapy.  We cannot tolerate mayhem delivered under false coverings of peacekeeping tactics. Extreme violence in policing must end, and confidence must be rebuilt among our neighbors about the benefit of well-funded, well-trained, and expertly-led police departments nationwide.

At home and around the nation, Howard is invested in this work. We will continue to do all we can to ensure that every Bison sees the world of their dreams through a lens of safety and awareness.