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University News | Department of Public Safety

Traffic Safety Officer Rogers Contributes to Motorist Education at UCM

By Jeff Murphy, March 11, 2024


A grant from the Missouri Department of  Transportation has funded a new Traffic Safety Officer position at the University of Central Missouri and a new traffic truck that will be used to help fulfill duties required of the post.

WARRENSBURG, MO – Realizing that efforts to maintain a safe campus extends beyond interior buildings and grounds, the University of Central Missouri has added a new officer whose role also includes educating motorists on how they can contribute to making UCM and their community safe. Former Oak Grove resident Emma Rogers has been named the Department of Public Safety’s Traffic Safety Officer, a position funded by a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Rogers accepted this newly created position in November 2023. Her main responsibilities are focused on traffic safety but there is also an education component. While she will be making traffic stops as a way to improve roadway and parking lot safety, she also will evaluate and create traffic safety plans for Public Safety and educate the public on traffic safety matters. This includes public speaking events, setting up hallway tables at different locations, and much more. Other opportunities will follow as she continues to grow in her role at this new job.

“This position focuses primarily on education and safety. At various times and events I will be present to educate people on the importance of traffic safety such as wearing a seatbelt,” Rogers said. “I will also be increasing traffic patrols focusing on traffic safety, including but not limited to driving while intoxicated, speeding and careless and imprudent driving.”

She added that through her position, she and the UCM Department of Public Safety hope to impact changes in behavior that contribute to improved roadway safety. This includes reducing speeds and more careful driving practices on and around campus, and a reduction of individuals who are driving impaired, either due to alcohol consumption or other substances that impact their abilities behind the steering wheel. Rogers stressed, however, that the Traffic Safety Officer’s position is not designed for penalizing individuals, but to increase motorist awareness. 

“I am here to educate people and to assist in keeping everyone safe. I am also available and open to new ideas on how to prevent serious traffic violations from occurring and ways I can assist and better serve the public,” she said.

The MoDOT grant that helps make Rogers’ position possible has also funded a new Ford traffic truck which will be used by Rogers in her work in Public Safety.  The vehicle is adorned with UCM Public Safety’s graphic identity marks, emergency lights and other up-to-date police equipment.    

Rogers graduated from Oak Grove High School in 2017 and began to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice at UCM. She temporarily paused her education in fall 2019 to attend the Central Missouri Police Academy and later that year was hired as a police officer in UCM’s Department of Public Safety. She returned to her coursework at UCM in fall 2022, and is expected to graduate with her bachelor’s degree in December 2024.

Her work within Public Safety has opened doors for many different types of career-related experiences. This includes serving as a radar instructor, field training officer, a pilot and member of the drone team, member of the Major Case Squad, and member of Johnson County’s Criminal Justice Response Team. All of these opportunities allow her to pursue professional interests that have continued to grow out of seeds planted during her childhood.

As Rogers noted, “I was drawn to law enforcement since I was a little kid watching the TV show ‘COPS’ with my parents. I began volunteering with the police services in Grain Valley during my senior year of high school. During my time volunteering, I had several strong female law enforcement role models whom I admired greatly. It wasn’t until I began completing ride-alongs in college that I finally decided to pursue a career as a police officer.”



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