Former Wichita police officer Steve Patton is Newman University’s new director of security.
Patton, who joined the Wichita Police Department (WPD) in 1997 and retired in 2022, has done it all. He’s been everything from a patrol officer, crime scene supervisor and homicide investigations detective to serving as a member of the bomb squad and more.
“While I was preparing to apply, I learned about Newman’s mission statement and values. The core values of culture of service and academic excellence resonated with me deeply, due to my personal and professional life experiences,” said Patton.
Patton explained that, in order for students, faculty and staff to pursue academic excellence and personal growth, they must feel secure on campus.
“In order to pursue academic excellence and personal growth, the students, faculty and staff need to feel safe and secure in their physical environment. … My biggest objective as director of security is to ensure that safe and secure physical environment for them,” said Patton.
Dean of Students Andi Giesen manages the director of security position. In the hiring process, the interview committee searched for a candidate who had a desire to relate with the Newman community while also having the security skills needed.
“Steve’s ability to relate with others coupled with his vast successful professional experience makes him a great addition to the Newman community,” said Giesen.
Patton based his security philosophy on a rules-based collaborative effort. This means that the rules and safety procedures that are in place need to be made known and abided by.
“The students, staff and faculty that live and work on campus are the subject matter experts of what belongs and what is out of the ordinary in their specific areas,” said Patton.
“If you see something, say something. Our security personnel are here for all of us to instill order, safety and success, all of which enhance the students’ academic experiences and employees’ positive work environment,” said Giesen.
The Flock Safety security cameras around campus, installed in August, are designed to capture every vehicle, individual and license plate that enters and exits the campus. The camera and its footage are backed up to the WPD, which Newman hopes slows down crime rates on campus.
“The Newman University information services desk will be monitoring the security cameras live via two 55-inch wall-mounted computer monitors during working hours, watching for issues and directly dispatching Newman University security if we see items of concern,” said Icer Vaughn, chief information officer and operations manager, in an article by the Newman Vantage.
“Security on campus is here to help you. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. And if you see anything that causes you concern, I encourage you to contact us,” said Patton.
When Patton isn’t patrolling campus, you can find him hunting, cooking or driving his 1974 Lincoln.
“I am excited to be here and look forward to getting to know the students and faculty. I welcome anyone to either stop me as I walk around campus, or swing by the Clementine Security Building to say hello,” said Patton.
Campus security at Newman
Newman University strives to provide a campus environment that is safe and secure for all students, faculty and staff.