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Maureen Rush credited the award to the teamwork of her strong staff.

Credit: Carson Kahoe

For the ninth consecutive year, Penn was ranked as the best in safety and security by Security Magazine.

Security Magazine’s “Security 500” list, published every year, serves as a benchmark for security organizations, allowing them to see where they stack up as part of SM’s ongoing peer-review process. The Division of Public Safety’s networking and trust-building skills were crucial in this year’s ranking.

“Penn Public Safety has earned the considerable trust of its many stakeholders and therefore receives funding which consistently leads to their high ranking,” said Security Magazine Editor-in-Chief Diane Ritchey.

Rush also gave praise for the support from some of Penn’s most impactful leaders and administrators. “We are only able to be so successful because we have the financial and moral support of the administration,” Rush said. In particular, Rush considered support from Penn President Amy Gutmann, Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli and Provost Vincent Price to be critical.

On Monday, Rush and others from the DPS team traveled to Washington D.C. to receive the award at the annual Security 500 Conference. At the conference, Rush and her team received particular praise for their Bait Bike program — which sets up bikes with GPS devices to catch bike burglars — as an example of DPS’ cutting-edge work.

Penn and DPS’ work over the September papal visit also received praise from the magazine’s editor-in-chief. Ritchey talked about the effective collaboration that occurred between DPS and Philadelphia Police, especially in ensuring hospital access and business supply delivery routes.

The rankings are determined from data supplied directly by the organizations included in the list, and also obtained from public resources and records, according to Security Magazine. Security programs are broken down by sectors and individual programs are ranked accordingly. Penn was joined in the top three in the “Higher Education” category by its West Philadelphia neighbor, Drexel. At an open hearing on accreditation earlier in the month, several members of the Drexel Public Safety team mentioned that DPS and Rush were instrumental in the founding, development and success of Drexel’s Public Safety program.

The praise for her department comes on the heels of an individual award Rush won this September when she was named one of Security Magazine’s “Most Influential People in Security in 2015.” Rush gave credit to her entire staff for the award, saying “although it’s my name, the whole team really won.”

Whether they be with school administrators like Gutmann and Price, colleagues like Drexel or public safety partners like AlliedBarton, DPS’s continued success seems to stem form Rush’s slogan, “It’s all about relationships.”

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