Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, October 21, 2020

South Dakota Mines Police Chief Works to Build Diverse Public Safety Team and an Inclusive Campus Environment

Doug Parrow, Chief of Police at South Dakota Mines, is undertaking the effort to hire a diverse range of officers and foster an inclusive environment on campus.


The team of 20 public safety officers at South Dakota Mines is a reflection of the campus multicultural community. The diverse team includes six women, nine international students, seven people of color, and six white male officers. 

Mines Police Chief Doug Parrow believes the most effective public safety team is one that represents the diversity on campus. “Diversifying our public safety team allows members of the campus community, who represent various backgrounds and identities, to better relate to our department,” Parrow says. “This allows us to serve the campus with more fairness and understanding, and we hope it fosters a more inclusive environment while helping members of our campus community feel a little more at home.”

The university’s 2019-2020 Diversity Report shows Mines students come from 46 states, 39 foreign countries, and various tribal nations. White students make up roughly 80% of the campus community and men outnumber women students 3:1. The university is working to meet industry demand to increase diversity in STEM fields with programs like Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) and the ongoing work by the Center for Inclusion and Ivanhoe International Center.  

“Our industry partners want to build science and engineering teams that thrive in the diverse global marketplace,” says Mines President Jim Rankin. “Our ongoing effort to foster diversity and inclusion on campus meets this industry demand. We know there is more work to be done to see women and people of color adequately represented in STEM fields, and we are continually seeking to improve this situation.”

Public safety officers at Mines help protect and secure the campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by patrolling the campus, securing buildings, and monitoring traffic. They are often the first to respond to university calls for assistance. Public safety officers do not carry weapons, but they can call in uniformed police officers when needed. Chief Parrow is the only armed officer with full police authority on campus at this time. More uniformed law enforcement officers may be added in the future.  

“The diversity of our department enhances trust in our multicultural campus community. That trust is a huge asset, and it is vital to our overall mission,” says Parrow.


About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu

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