Campus Safety

We strive to maintain a proactive approach to campus safety.

From the Director of Public Safety

Every employee in the Department of Public Safety is committed to the safety of our students and our campus. We have an outstanding, well-trained staff that includes officers with many years of law enforcement or security experience. We have excellent working relationships with local police, fire, and EMS services. We constantly look for ways to improve how we utilize equipment, technology and personnel to keep the Harding community safe.

While Harding University has the resources one would expect in our security-conscious world, one of the greatest advantages we have when compared to other universities regarding safety is the Christian environment that permeates every aspect of the University, including the Department of Public Safety. Harding's commitment to Christian values greatly reduces the number of security-related problems that are so common on other college campuses.

We always welcome opportunities to meet students, prospective students and their families. Our office is open 24 hours a day every day of the year. Please feel free to call 501-279-5000 or visit our office in the Kendall Building.

Craig S. Russell
Director of Public Safety

Visiting Campus

The Department of Public Safety is honored to have visitors on campus. Visitors are not required to register their vehicles during short stays on campus. However, when parking on campus, visitors are strongly encouraged to adhere to the campus parking rules and regulations. Visitors should always park in designated parking slots including student parking, visitor parking and faculty/staff parking. Parking in loading zones and in time zones should be limited to 15 minutes. View the campus map.

Parking is not allowed in Reserved slots and areas, No Parking areas or in accessible parking slots (without proper identification). Vans are authorized to park in regular parking slots. Any vehicle transporting more than 11 passengers should contact Public Safety at 501-279-5000 to receive parking instructions.


Take exit 45 from Highway 64 whether coming from Little Rock or Memphis. Go west on Beebe-Capps Expressway through the light and turn right on to Burks Blvd. at the Harding University sign.


Campus Security

The Department of Public Safety strives to maintain a proactive approach to campus safety utilizing various resources to patrol and respond to various situations. We are pleased to offer the following services to members of the Harding community:

Programs and Services

Active shooter preparedness

Active Shooter Response

Active shooter incidents have become all too frequent. What was once unthinkable is now today’s reality. One of the primary focuses of armed officer training for Public Safety is active shooter mitigation and response. Officers train regularly to rapidly respond to and neutralize any active shooter threat. Public Safety officers work closely with the Searcy Police Department to ensure that campus remains a safe environment.

Active Shooter Preparedness Training

Active shooter preparedness training is offered periodically to the Harding community. This course informs participants how to be prepared should an active shooter situation occur on campus. The course is based on the Run.Hide.Fight© curriculum developed by the City of Houston in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security. This course is only available to Harding University students, faculty and staff.

Visit our safety classes webpage to sign up for the course. 

AEDs on campus

Automatic External Defibrillators can greatly improve a person's chance of survival in the case of a heart attack. A victim's chances of survival increases the sooner CPR is started and an AED is applied. The chart below identifies the location of each unit and a photo of the AED unit to assist in rapid access to the unit.


Campus AED Map

Building Specific Location
Administration Building West hallway of lobby, across from men’s restroom
David B. Burks American Heritage Building Northeast corner of lobby, next to accessibility ramp
Baseball Clubhouse Immediately inside the clubhouse front door 
Benson Auditorium Main lobby by center doors
Camp Tahkodah In the back of the mess hall by infirmary and restrooms
Farrar Center for Health Sciences Main lobby at base of stairs, next to restrooms
Ganus Activities Complex (Football Hallway) Hallway past football weight room outside the athletic training room
Ganus Activities Complex (Gym/Weight Area)

Inside northeast corner of the gym, next to the entrance by water fountain

Ganus Activities Complex (Pool/Racquetball Hallway)

Hallway past racquetball courts across from pool doors

Ganus Activities Center (Training Room) Inside northeast corner of athletic training room
Harding Academy Elementary In the hallway, outside teacher workroom
Harding Academy High School In the hallway, outside high school office
Harding Academy High School Gym Northwest corner of Harris Gym
Harding Academy Junior High In the east junior high hallway, inside double metal interior fire doors
Sears Honors House In a lower cabinet in middle hallway (ask staff for location/retrieval)
Brackett Library Next to Midnight Oil on glass classroom wall
McInteer Bible and World Missions Center Second floor, next to central staircase
Northwest Arkansas Campus Next to elevator on first floor
Health Sciences Center South Next to bathrooms by main office
Rhodes-Reaves Field House Southeast corner of building by exterior metal doors
Stevens Soccer Complex East exterior wall, next to bathrooms
Softball Field AED Kept in home dugout during games
Student Health Services Ask staff for location/retrieval
Swaid Center for Health Sciences Next to lobby restrooms on first floor
Thornton Education Center Next to first floor elevator and restrooms on Thornton side of the building
University Aircraft Ask pilot for location/retrieval

The Department of Public Safety can provide training for anyone interested in learning how to perform CPR and use the AED. Please sign up for a class or call the Office of Parking and Transportation at 501-279-4005 for more information.

Emergency call boxes

Emergency call boxes have been placed in strategic locations on campus. If there is criminal activity or a physical emergency, press the CALL button on the box and report the problem to the public safety dispatcher. There is a direct line from each call box to the public safety office. Officers are immediately dispatched to the locations of all emergency call box calls regardless of the call.


Courtesy And Safety Escorts

Students, faculty and staff may call the public safety office for an escort from anywhere on campus to any other location on campus after dark. Students working off campus may also request escorts back to campus after dark if they make special arrangements.


The Courtesy And Safety Escort Program was originally created to provide safe transportation for women to and from their dorms. The program was so successful that it was expanded to include the entire student body. More than 14,000 rides were given in just the first year! Each evening, two golf carts are available to provide rides anywhere on campus. The drivers are trained members of the Department of Public Safety and are equipped with the same radios as officers. The drivers not only provide rides but also are trained to report any emergencies or criminal activity.

All students must be in the residence halls or University apartments at the curfew hour set by the administration and Board of Trustees. Any student needing to be out later than the set curfew must receive late permission from the appropriate personnel. Off-campus students are not permitted on campus after curfew unless they have permission from a school official.


Major steps have been taken to increase night time visibility on campus. All areas of campus are now well lit. Parking lots are constantly monitored to ensure all lights are working properly and there is sufficient lighting in each parking lot. All concerns regarding lighting are seriously considered and addressed.

Access to residence halls

Every residence hall has a live-in residence hall coordinator and several resident assistants. All residence halls have a monitor on duty in the lobby from 11 a.m. until curfew (midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends). Members of the opposite sex are not allowed in any living areas at any time. Students of the opposite gender are allowed in residence hall lobbies from noon until curfew. Regardless of gender, all visitors, repair persons, vendors, etc. must sign in at the front desk with the monitor or the residence life coordinator before entering the living areas and must sign out at the front desk when leaving the living areas.

Each residence hall also incorporates the use of access control at the entrances to the building. Residents living in the building are granted access using their dtudent I.D. card at the times the lobby is not monitored.

Video surveillance

Several areas on campus are monitored and/or recorded by video surveillance 24 hours a day by the Department of Public Safety. The video surveillance operates as a deterrent to crime in many areas of campus. Cameras are both overtly and covertly placed in strategic locations.

Security patrols

Public safety officers patrol campus 24 hours a day every day of the year to protect our students, employees and property.

See this document for a description of victim rights.

Equipment and training

The Department of Public Safety utilizes patrol vehicles that are well-marked for easy identification and are equipped to handle a wide variety of situations. Each patrol vehicle contains a fully-equipped medical first responder bag, oxygen tank and Automatic External Defibrillator for medical emergencies. Officers are trained and certified in CPR at the health care provider level by the American Heart Association as well as being trained medical first responders. Each vehicle also contains tools to assist motorists with services such as jump-starts, flat tires and lockouts.

The department also has three gas-powered golf carts at their disposal. The golf carts are used in a patrol capacity as well as for safety escorts performed by the department on the campus grounds.

All officers are equipped with two-way radios. Armed officers are trained in defensive tactics as well as mace/pepper foam use and decontamination.

News and Reports

Annual Security and Fire Report
Harding University is committed to providing a safe, congenial and secure environment for our students, faculty, staff and guests. With the support of all members of our campus community, there is a continuing effort to keep the campus safe and secure.

Title IX
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX states "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Contact Information

Department of Public Safety