New officers sworn into police force

No longer does Missouri Southern have security guards on duty. Instead, all members of the University Police Department are sworn officers.

Two new officers were sworn in on Monday, Aug. 27. This is a milestone, according to Ken Kennedy, University police chief.

With the two additions, the University Police Department now staffs seven official police officers.

“This step is in accordance with our attempt to continually improve the professionalism of the University Police Department,” Kennedy said.

“We’ve been hoping to get to this point since 2008.”

In the 2008 to 2009 school year, Kennedy was the only officer on staff.

“We believe fully trained, fully qualified police officers will offer better service to our students,” Kennedy said.

This is not only a milestone because it improves the professionalism of the department, but also because it improves safety for students on campus.

“Students should feel much more secure being on campus,” Kennedy said.

“Our officers can enforce the law and can arrest without waiting for an adjoining agency or department.”

Justin Keller and Robert Kew are the two new officers to join the MSSU campus police force.

Keller graduated from the MSSU Academy in 2000 had worked seven years in the Air Force and 10 years for the Joplin Police Department before arriving at Southern.

Kew has worked for Southern for two and a half years and graduated from the MSSU Police Academy in May of 2011.

He first worked as a student dispatch, then as a part-time non commissioned officer, then as a full-time non commissioned officer. Now, he is serving as an active police officer at MSSU.

“I like the campus and the people in it,” Kew said.