Ambassador Program puts friendly face on officers

Author:

Pat Holdeman, NDSP

Notre Dame Security Police officers knew they needed to find a way to get word out about the number of services they offer to faculty and staff, especially to new employees who may not know all the department does.

Through its Ambassador Program, the department reaches out to employees on a face-to-face basis to introduce itself and its services.

Pat Holdeman, police officer and Ambassador coordinator, wants new employees in particular to know that “the most important thing that we do is help people to be safe here.”

So he gets a list of new employees from human resources each month and sends out a mass email, offering to set up a convenient time for one of the eight officers who participate to meet with the employees to talk about the services available through NDSP and answer any questions they might have.

“We can go to their office or cubicle or wherever they work,” Holdeman says. “We don’t make them come to us. We can go to wherever it’s convenient.”

The meet-and-greet takes 10 to 25 minutes, Holdeman says. Officers will talk about NDSP and its services, such as helping people if they lock their keys in their cars or have a dead battery, as well as addressing safety concerns and escorting people to their vehicles. One program that Holdeman likes to emphasize is RAD, or Rape Aggression Defense, which trains women especially to improve their self-defense skills.

“We try to put a friendly face on the department,” Holdeman says. “As a police department, we do much more for our community than I see elsewhere. This helps put a face on a badge. If people get to know us on a personal level, they get to trust us more, which creates a safer campus.”

Employees also receive a goodie bag filled with more information about NDSP along with treats such as coupons and a water bottle. While NDSP targets new employees, the program is available to anyone who would like to know more about the department. Officers will also talk to groups of people. To learn more, contact Holdeman at pholdema@nd.edu.