“To Protect and Serve.” This motto is one of the most commonly used descriptions of members of law-enforcement. To protect the innocent from evil, and to serve the community in the process. At colleges and Universities across the country, there are security headquarters, full blown police stations, or sometimes even both.
For CSU, we have both. Cleveland State University has a fully operational police station that consists of Campus Safety Officers, Security Officers, and both rookie and veteran police officers whom have been in law-enforcement and sometimes veterans of our country’s military. Throughout my time at CSU, I have met and befriended several members of CSUPD. Throughout this article, it is my intention to give CSUPD, or as I like to call them “The Vikings in Blue,” the thanks they deserve.
Like any police force, there needs to be a leader. For CSU, we have Police Chief Gary D. Lewis Jr. To get to know Chief Lewis a little better, I asked him some questions about his lengthy career in Public Safety and his motivation to be in law enforcement.
After asking how long he has been with CSUPD, Chief Lewis said he been with CSUPD for nearly two years. By the time he joined CSU, Chief Lewis was already an accomplished veteran in public safety. “Prior to joining CSU, I spent nearly 22 years with the Ohio State Highway Patrol as a Commander and served in a number of positions across the state of Ohio. Upon retirement in 2013, I spent two years at The Ohio State University and worked in the Media and Public Relations office.”
Having had so many accomplishments already, Chief Lewis’ achievements continue to grow in nearly two years at CSU. Chief Lewis serves as both Chief of Police and as the Director of Campus Safety. “In my role, responsibilities associated to the Police Department, Environmental Health and Safety and Access Control are all part of campus safety.”
One of the most recent accomplishments of CSUPD under Chief Lewis’ leadership include being inducted as honorary members of the Cleveland State Chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success. This is a National Honor Society and Leadership organization in which I myself had the honor of being inducted into at the inaugural CSU Chapter in Fall of 2016.
Like any occupation, there is a motivation to pursue a career in law enforcement for a variety of reasons. After asking Chief Lewis about his reason to desire a career in law enforcement, he said, “I have always had a passion for public safety and have committed myself to the past 25 years of protecting and serving.”
Chief Lewis has devoted himself to protecting people, and his long list of achievements have shown that he has succeeded more than once. With each member of law enforcement that I meet, I understand and respect that being in such a field has always been far from easy. It is no secret that recent tragic events throughout this country have fed the ever-so increasing hostility towards law enforcement.
Unfortunately, hostility towards law enforcement is nothing new. I asked Chief Lewis about his opinion of this hostility from the perspective of the Chief of Police at CSU. His incredible response was as follows.
“Being at CSU and being apart of the city of Cleveland these nearly past two years has been the start of an amazing journey. We continue to see challenges in the law enforcement profession but boast a rich and positive relationship with all of our CSU stakeholders.”
CSU is home to almost 17,000 students from around the world, and each and every of us are kept safe by the Cleveland State University Police Department led by Chief Gary D. Lewis Jr. I would like to thank the “Vikings in Blue” for keeping the CSU community safe and staying true to the police motto to “Protect and Serve.”