The Northeast Colleges and Universities Security Association (NECUSA), established in 1953, is the oldest campus law enforcement organization in the United States. Originally intended to be a small group of campus security and police professionals coming together to share information on issues facing their campuses, the organization grew from eight loosely organized members to an organization over 400 members strong.
Members represent a broad range of institutions: public and private; four year and two year; large universities and small colleges. Some have sworn police departments and some non-sworn security or safety departments. Although the association has no specified geographic area, member institutions are from Maine south to Maryland and west to Ohio. We have also been able to maintain members who move to positions outside of this region due to their strong ties to the organization.
NECUSA often struggles with the word “security” when discussing recruiting new members. The Board of Directors has discussed the possibility of changing the name. They toyed with dropping the word “security” or merely substituting something stronger however after many suggestions and much debate, they determined that the NECUSA acronym, in existence for over fifty years, represented more to the membership than the substance of the words contained within it.
NECUSA has become an organization that is more than merely the sum of its parts. It has the culture of a large extended family in which members may go for long periods of time with no contact but can pick up the telephone at anytime and be received warmly by the person on the other end.
The primary focus of NECUSA is two-fold: to deliver cost-effective, high quality professional development opportunities within the northeast region and to create opportunities for networking with colleagues, both in person and electronically. Many of us have forged life long friendships that started over a discussion about parking or patrol work or a cold drink after a round of golf.
In addition to providing professional development opportunities to members, NECUSA places high value on their reputation as a family organization. Conferences offer programs for spouses, partners and children and include them in all social functions. The organization leadership understands the demands of the campus law enforcement field and strives to create opportunities to involve family and friends to bridge the gaps that often exist because of the long hours and demanding work.
The organization values all of its members: institutional, associate, affiliate and sustaining (vendor). Our sustaining members often comment on the open manner in which they are received when contacting NECUSA members to make sales calls. Their support has become an important value of the organization and is reinforced at the annual conference and in publications.