University Director of Security Ronald Down: “The people at Concordia are what makes Concordia a special place to work.”

Published by Amy Crawford 5 days ago on Mon, Jun 10, 2024 8:47 AM

Ronald Down serves as the Concordia University, Nebraska director of security. Responsible for overseeing the university’s overall security program, he maintains the security department budget, completes security staff payroll, facilitates security staff scheduling and training, oversees the access control and security video monitoring systems and ensures that staff are able to respond to and properly document emergency incidents that take place on campus. He also maintains positive and productive relationships with local emergency responders and emergency management officials.  

Down has served at the university for almost nine years. He gained valuable experience through the United States Air Force as a law enforcement specialist. He graduated from the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services Training Academy before working in a maximum security prison for seven years. He then attended and graduated from the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center, then worked as a deputy sheriff for 10 years with the Seward County Sheriff’s Department until he joined the university. 

“My favorite thing about the job is knowing I have a part in helping to keep the campus community safe from any outside threats,” he said. “With the recent addition of our new assistant security manager Dana Metzger, who brings a wealth of knowledge concerning emergency protocols, as well as fresh and new ideas on how we can better improve our security department, I believe our security department will continue to evolve and grow going forward. Watching us grow and develop in order to provide a safer campus community is what I really enjoy.” 

Down takes great pride in ensuring that the university community is as safe as possible and that the most current tools are in place on campus to ensure the security of staff and students. He cites the incorporating a one-button lockdown feature into the university’s access control system that allows for lock down of all campus buildings in an emergency within seconds.  

“Prior to that upgrade it would have taken approximately 20 minutes to complete a total lockdown of campus,” he explained. “We have also incorporated a new emergency notification system that is much more efficient in delivering notifications. This provides additional features that enhance our capabilities to work through any critical incident that may take place on campus. We are currently integrating a new access control system that will allow us to combine our security video system and emergency lockdown feature into one entity. We believe this will allow for a much more streamlined response to any emergency incident that may present itself.”

He said that the university is a special place to work, and everyone on campus is tremendously supportive of each other. 

“The people at Concordia are what makes Concordia a special place to work. I get a sense that everyone is willing to help others out when needed and show a tremendous amount of support for one another,” he said. “You don’t always find that type of environment at other places. The students that attend Concordia Nebraska are also great to work with. Although there are times we have to deal with certain issues, the students here are very well behaved. I don’t know that there are many colleges or universities that have such a well-grounded student body. The faculty, staff and students here are awesome and great to work with.”

Down admits that his job is sometimes stressful, but said that the university’s Christ-centered focus helps him navigate tense moments and anxious situations. 

“There are times of stress here that allows for me to lean on God, knowing He will guide me, the security department, or even the university, through the issue and come out on the other side much better off than before,” he said. “Having opportunities to share my faith with others who maybe aren’t having a great day, also helps me to remember He is with me on days that maybe aren’t going so well for me. I truly believe all things are possible when you put your faith in Jesus.” 

Down is married and has five children and six grandchildren. When he’s not working, he loves serving at his church and spending as much time as possible with his family, but you might also find him watching the Cleveland Browns or the Nebraska Huskers. 

“The university security department is available to help in any way we can. We are currently working through some changes that we believe will enhance our capabilities in the future,” he said. “My biggest goal when I retire is to leave the security department in much better shape than when I first arrived here, and I believe we are well on our way to doing that. At times we will need the help and understanding of the university community in order to work through some of the things we are trying to do, and I have faith the community will support us through it all.” 

Concordia University, Nebraska is deeply committed to nurturing an environment where academic and creative pursuits thrive. To uphold this commitment, it's crucial to create an environment which prioritizes the safety and well-being of our campus community. Student and staff safety and security is top priority.