SMU honors fallen 9/11 first responders with honor guard, bell ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016

Scene at the SMU flagpole on Sept. 11, 2001
Scene at the SMU flagpole on Sept. 11, 2001.

The SMU Police Department and first responders from the surrounding community will commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11 with a solemn ceremony honoring the police officers and firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty during the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

University police officers, along with members of the Highland Park and University Park Police and Fire Departments, will participate in a combined honor guard and bell ceremony for the fallen. The ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at the flagpole on the Main Quad. The event is free and open to the public.

To symbolize the first responders’ devotion to duty, the bell ceremony includes a special signal of three rings, three times each, representing the end of duty and a return to quarters. The signals ring out that “those who have selflessly given their lives for the good of their fellow man, their tasks completed, their duties well done … are going home.”

The remembrance will also feature remarks from SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Police Chief Rick Shafer and a benediction by University Chaplain Stephen Rankin, as well as bagpipe performances of “Amazing Grace” and “America the Beautiful.”

“We welcome the community to come and help us remember those who gave their lives while protecting those they served,” said Chief Shafer.

The remembrance ceremony is one of several opportunities for campus community members, both in-person and virtual, to reflect on and remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001:

> Christina Rancke and Osama Bin Laden’s death
> Journal entries written by the SMU community 15 years ago

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

Tune In: SMU takes the ‘It’s On Us’ pledge

The SMU community shows its support for It’s On Us, a nationwide campaign to end sexual assault and violence, in the latest video from Myles Taylor of SMU News.

Learn more from President R. Gerald Turner, basketball coaches Larry Brown and Rhonda Rompola, Student Body President Ramon Trespalacios and many more students, faculty, staff members and administrators – click the YouTube screen, or open this link to watch the SMU It’s On Us video in a new windowvideo