Campus News

UKPD celebrates 50 years of service

The UK Police Department celebrates 50 years of service to the university community.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 10, 2022) — Monday marked the 50th anniversary for the University of Kentucky Police Department (UKPD). What once was a night watchmen service providing basic security is now a full-service police department.

In 1972, the Kentucky legislature enacted KRS 164.950, giving all state public universities the power to create campus police agencies and set standards for campus police officers. As a result, on Aug. 8, 1972, the university established the Public Safety Division.

"Our department has a rich history of serving this community,” said UK Police Chief Joe Monroe. “We have evolved to meet the needs of our students, faculty and staff, and we look forward to preserve our long-standing legacy of excellence moving forward.”

UKPD was established with a mission to promote a safe and secure campus environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors at the university. Since 1996, the department has maintained accreditation through the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police.

Over the years, UK's police department has grown exponentially in size and services offered to the community. The department now offers a holistic variety of activities and programs to promote safety and security on UK’s campus, including self-defense classes, crime prevention, active aggressor training, de-escalation training and a citizen's police academy.

In addition to UKPD’s health care security division, UK Police established a Special Victims Unit, a Crisis Management and Preparedness team, a Tech Division, an Event Management team, a drone unit, ID operations as well as an administrative and fiscal support unit. It also has a group of telecommunications officers who respond to all calls and ensure the safety of our officers.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the department, UKPD hosted a picnic for former and current UKPD employees, their families and friends of the department.

To learn more about the department’s history, watch this highlight video.

Photo of UKPD badge

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.