Officials with the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Department of Public Safety (DPS) recently received equipment donations from the United States Deputy Sheriff’s Association (USDSA) and the American Police and Sheriff’s Association.

Along with the equipment, Miami Emergency Medical Services has agreed to conduct trauma kit training for DPS officers.

“The traffic safety vests and flashlights from the USDSA were a critical need for our department. Equipment like that can wear out because we give them so much use,” said DPS Director Mark Wall. “We also received trauma kits and ballistic shields in the event of a serious incident.

"We pray that never happens here, but it is important to always be prepared to protect our students, staff, faculty, and guests. We are very grateful for these donations.”

Following recent appropriations limitations, departments on campus have reduced spending on non-critical equipment, which often means using older equipment longer.

With DPS, this means using sub-standard flashlights, vests, and other non-critical equipment. While Wall is grateful for any donations, he understands that grant funding must become a critical element of the DPS budget going forward.

“We have the necessities to keep our students safe and carry out our daily jobs,” said Wall. “I understand every department on campus has to run as lean as possible, and to me, that means looking for grant funds to secure the equipment and training that isn’t absolutely necessary, but incredibly useful to our officers.”