Statement from SMU President R. Gerald Turner on SMU Police Officer Mark McCullers

Richard Shafer

Statement from SMU President R. Gerald Turner on SMU Police Officer Mark McCullers

SMU released the following statement from President R. Gerald Turner on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016:


SMU Police Officer Mark McCullersToday it was confirmed that the body of missing SMU Police Officer Mark McCullers was located Wednesday in Dallas. As our community grieves this profound loss, we are deeply grateful to those who searched for Officer McCullers since he was swept away by Turtle Creek floodwaters July 5 while working off-duty as a private security guard at a Highland Park construction site. The search teams’ efforts now have brought comfort and relief to his many loved ones and friends.

We continue to hold in our thoughts and prayers Officer McCullers’ wife, Tiffany, and six children. Officer McCullers was a beloved member of our University community, a skilled and dedicated officer and a proud U.S. Marine veteran. He served as a member of the SMU Police Department Patrol Division since February 2015. As was noted at his July 28 memorial service at McFarlin Auditorium, Mark was passionate about sharing his knowledge of personal security with students and other campus community members.

We thank the many heroic men and women who searched in difficult conditions for Officer McCullers, including members of the Highland Park Department of Public Safety, Dallas Fire-Rescue, the Dallas Police Department, University Park Police Department and Texas Parks & Wildlife.

I also want to extend profound thanks to SMU Police Chief Richard Shafer and all members of the SMU Police Department. As many of you know, SMU Police Department officers and staff served tirelessly and gave selflessly of their time and skills since search efforts began. At the same time, they continued to serve and protect our campus community, demonstrating an extraordinary level of professionalism and dedication.

Chief Shafer asked that I forward the following statement from him: “I am proud of the SMU Police Department for their continued efforts to find Officer McCullers. They never gave up. They supported and aided other agencies throughout the search, and they provided care and support to Mark’s family. It was fitting that Officer McCullers was found by his SMU Patrol Sergeant, Keith McCain. We all are grateful he is coming home.”

If you are not already aware, the McCullers family has established the Officer Mark McCullers Memorial Account. Donations may be made at any Wells Fargo bank to account number 9976436577, or online on PayPal at www.paypal.me/OfficerMarkMcCullers.

For SMU staff, faculty or family members who are in need of confidential support or resources, please contact the SMU Employee Assistance Program, which is offered through the Human Resources Department. Call 1-877-704-5696.

Students in need of confidential support or resources may contact SMU Counseling Services, 214-768-2277. The SMU Chaplain’s Office, 214-768-4502, also is available to provide confidential support to campus community members.

Thank you to those across North Texas and around the country who have sent their prayers to our community. They have supported us through this time and will continue to do so.

R. Gerald Turner
SMU President

August 25, 2016|News|

SMU Police Department now using dashboard and body cameras

L3 Mobile Vision logoSMU police officers and squad cars are now equipped with body and in-car cameras. The University’s Department of Public Safety began using the devices in November, according to Chief of Police Rick Shafer.

The University chose L-3 Mobile-Vision to provide both hardware and support for the cameras. The SMU Police Department had been “working on it for the past six months,” Shafer says – researching vendors, observing a deployed system in action, and surveying neighboring police departments.

University Park, Highland Park and Dallas all use the same system chosen by SMU, Shafer adds.

L3 Mobile Vision body camsAll 32 officers have their own individual body cams, and all 6 patrol cars have a dedicated in-car cam. The cameras do not record continuously, Shafer says: “It’s up to the officer’s discretion when to record confrontations.”

SMU Police Department supervisors are the only individuals who can retrieve video, image and other data from the cameras and servers, Chief Shafer says. The only legal way footage from these cameras can be released to any individual is through an approved Texas Public Information Act request.

> Visit the SMU Police Department online: smu.edu/pd

December 14, 2015|News|

Campus celebrates Veterans Day 2013

SMU Veterans pinVeterans Day 2013 is Monday, Nov. 11, and SMU will honor its military vets in many ways this week:

• SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility will present SMU Veteran lapel pins to all University vets – students, faculty and staff – to recognize their service and identify their membership with the University’s veteran community. The Maguire Center will present pins 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11 at the Main Quad flagpole. In addition, Ruthie’s Rolling Café will offer free sandwiches to vets wearing their pins.

• The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will offer free admission to all veterans, retirees, active duty, National Guard, Reserve, and Coast Guard service members on Veterans Day. The Museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Veterans Day 2013; the offer is good for all tickets sold at the admissions desk that day, but not applicable to tickets sold online. Any service member participating in the free admission offer will be asked to show a form of identification upon purchasing their tickets. For more information, e-mail bush43media@nara.gov.

• The Office of the Provost hosts a luncheon honoring veterans 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14 in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. The keynote speaker is U.S. Army Col. Miguel Howe (Ret.), director of the Military Service Initiative in the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Special presentations will also be made by:

  • SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Ludden
  • University Chief Information Officer Joe Gargiulo (U.S. Navy 1975-77, U.S. Navy Reserve 1978-80)
  • SMU Chief of Police Richard Shafer (U.S. Air Force 1973-94)
  • SMU Color Guard
  • Associate Vice President for Campus Services Julie Wiksten ’78, ’92
  • Brandon Montgomery ’14, president, U.S. Military Veterans of SMU (U.S. Marine Corps 2005-10)
  • Blake Helm ’14 (M.B.A.), vice president, Cox Veterans in Business (U.S. Army, 2005-12)

• In addition, the Office of the Provost and SMU Military Veterans are collecting holiday toys and care package items during the luncheon. Please bring a new unwrapped toy for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys For Tots program and personal items for active-duty U.S. military service members. Visit the United Service Organizations (USO) website for a list of suggested care package items.

• SMU’s Central University Libraries invite you to view one of DeGolyer Library’s finest collections in digitized form: the Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs. Shaffer’s evocative images depict the indigenous populations and local conditions of North Africa, Italy, Southern France, and Germany from 1943 to 1945. Included are 19 images of Mount Vesuvius that depict the volcano before, during and after its eruption in 1944.

November 8, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News|

Student Senate town hall meeting gathers input on substance abuse issues

town-hall-forum-275.jpgA town hall forum sponsored by the SMU Student Senate attracted about 150 participants and generated lively discussion on the issue of alcohol and drug abuse at SMU. For 90 minutes at the Oct. 22 session, students asked questions and gave their views to the University’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention, appointed by SMU President R. Gerald Turner last spring.

“The Student Senate has a longstanding tradition of protecting the rights of the student body,” said Patrick Kobler, Student Concerns Chair of the Student Senate, at the start of the meeting.

“We want students to take ownership of this issue on campus,” added Student Body president and Task Force member Katherine Tullos, “and we encourage you to present solutions along with the problems you describe.” Read more. (Daily Campus photo by John Schreiber)

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November 1, 2007|News|
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