Build Trust and Lower Risk
As we begin another semester, I wanted to take a moment to say hello and introduce myself. I joined Denison on January 11 as your new Campus Safety Director. I am so happy and honored to be a Denisonian! I know whenever someone joins a new community, it can be beneficial to know more about them. I started my career as a paramedic and volunteer firefighter and then spent twenty-seven years in university policing at The Ohio State University. My career has prepared me for my new role while my experiences as a mentor, friend, husband, father, and former college student, will help to balance my approach to solving problems and making decisions.
I believe in a comprehensive, or all-hazards, approach to campus safety and we will use community policing as our guiding philosophy. This means we will work to build relationships with community members to establish dialogue and trust and we will focus on preventing anything that poses a public safety risk. Our team will work to improve the overall quality of life and safety in partnership with you.
This is a challenging time to find normalcy in the world. The pandemic has impacted virtually every facet of our lives, most importantly, how we interact with people around us…family, friends, classmates, colleagues. We are surrounded by people but still feel isolated and have a motivating need to be with others.
We are all also trying to come to terms with the political divisiveness that we see in our country and there is an intense national dialogue surrounding a desire for change in police and policing. You have my commitment that I believe deeply in leading a Campus Safety team that values, honors, and respects all members of the campus community. I have already observed that our Campus Safety staff regularly go above and beyond a traditional campus safety or security role. Though we are also tasked with law enforcement, please know that our officers are committed to objective, professional, and consistent performance of their duties with student success as their end goal. Our staff acknowledge that we have a role in building and fostering safe communities and educating our students and not just in enforcing rules. Most importantly, we will work to be transparent in this process.
Despite the challenges we face, I look forward to the coming semester with optimism. I still have a lot to learn…for example, the Denison way of doing things, new names and faces, the rules to lacrosse, and what exactly is a bandersnatch?! I’ve already met with many of you and I’ve appreciated you giving me the opportunity to drop in on your campus organization meeting. I am excited to get to meet more of the student body, so please feel free to reach out. I’m happy to attend an organization meeting, a residence hall floor meeting, committee meetings, or to talk 1-1. Each of these interactions has helped me to get a better understanding of what the student body is hoping to see from Campus Safety—things that you like and ideas for continued improvement.
Director of Campus Safety