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UA-Fort Smith establishes police department


Growing student enrollment at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith has prompted the former community college to add an armed police department.

“This is the fifth year of our university experience,” said Ken Pyle, vice chancellor of student and campus life. “The programs are growing. Our expectations of ourselves and the expectations from the parents and the citizens here are that we have all the services and one of those would be an upgraded university police department.”

Before, the campus was protected by security officers and police officers certified by the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy.

University police chief Kevin Thiele said the department now has four full-time officers and four part-time officers. The department has ordered new uniforms, badges, body armor, belts, holsters and weapons, Thiele said.

“All their uniforms are going to reflect the fact that it is not an office of public safety anymore, it is the UAFS Police Department,” said Chancellor Paul Beran.

Information from: Southwest Times Record,

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