John Dailey
Chief of Police, Duke University and Duke University Hospital

And Duke’s security team assures it. “Thinking about the higher education and healthcare facilities at Duke, it is amazing what occurs on a given day. Students learn something that will change their life. Another person’s life will be saved at the hospital. A researcher will make a discovery that changes quality of life for others. There may be a wedding in the chapel. There is a high likelihood Duke will compete for or win a national sports championship. And we have celebrity speakers and lecturers visiting frequently. This is a very rewarding, exciting and dynamic environment,” Chief Dailey explains.

The security team at Duke is all about higher education above the surface, and they work to keep law enforcement below the surface. “We continue to focus on customer service for all the stakeholders on our campus. Duke is consistently named a top 10 institution and high quality service is expected from every department, especially security. The mission is a successful and positive experience for every person that visits Duke.”

Duke ensures that their team members are highly trained in necessary law enforcement and emergency management skills. At the same time they focus heavily on emotional capabilities. “We emphasize empathy so our officers see things the way the student, patient or victim sees them. We look hard at emotional intelligence during hiring and promotions. We work to hire the people who fit into the culture and are able to manage the environment. This can be very challenging, and we discuss it all the time,” Dailey says.

At the same time, the regulatory landscape in higher education is evolving. The Clery Act is being expanded to record additional crimes. Dailey works closely with IAHSS for the Duke University Hospital and is working towards accreditation for their police department.

Security’s mission is to help create an environment for world class education, research, healthcare and entertainment. Simply stated, without a secure environment, Duke cannot be Duke. And Dailey recognized early that a secure environment could not be created alone.

“We partner with the Office of Information Technology and are developing comprehensive technical security plans. There are now templates across similar facilities. For example, our data centers, and physical plant (critical dependency facilities) have one level of security. Residence Halls have another,” explains Dailey.

Human resources provides background screening and intervention to stay in front of potentially threatening behavior. “We work to educate others to recognize and report concerning behavior. We have three teams of highly skilled, cross-functional professionals that comprise our Behavioral Assessment Teams that work with students, employees and patients, as required. And the Environmental, Health and Safety department manages fire protection, but we are the first responders. Hence we coordinate and drill closely to be prepared,” he adds.

Students are engaged in their own safety, as well, as additional federal regulations are making safety programs mandatory on college campuses. During the first week all new students are required to attend a security session and to attend follow up programs held by peers including resident advisors, student groups and graduate students.

Dailey’s team also offers prevention awareness programs that students and employees may attend based on personal interest. Among the most popular are active shooter and the Citizen’s Police Academy which receives six times the applicants as there are seats available.

Chief Dailey joined the Duke Police department as an officer after six years in the U.S. Army. He moved into a management role at Duke, was recruited to North Carolina State as Assistant Police Chief and then returned to Duke as the Chief
in 2009.

“This is a fast changing and highly dynamic profession. Security is in front of every college leader today. We get tremendous support from leadership with both vocal and financial recognition. We meet with student and employee groups and ask how they feel about their safety and get ideas. We listen well and are highly responsive. That makes a big difference,” says Dailey.

At the heart of Duke’s program are the highly dedicated professionals who are passionate about service and very connected to the culture and helping it achieve its goals. “We work at it every day,” adds Dailey. “When we have a day without fear or incidents, we allow Duke to do what makes Duke great. That is the expectation. That is the mission.” 


Security Scorecard

  • Annual Revenue: $4 Billion
  • Security Budget: $12 Million

 Critical Issues

  • Workplace Violence
  • Security Technology and Integration
  • Affordable Care Act

 Security Mission

  • Active Shooter
  • Asset Protection/Theft
  • Behavioral Health and Violence
  • Enterprise Resilience
  • Fan Violence
  • Loss Prevention/
  • Asset Protection of Goods for Resale     
  • Player Misconduct
  • Risk Management Planning         
  • Sexual Assault
  • Weather 

Read more thought-leading strategies and success stories from security frontrunners in more 2014 Security 500 Report profiles here.