The University of Michigan will create a campus safety network and increase collaboration when the leaders of the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint public safety departments begin reporting to the Division of Public Safety and Security on Oct. 1.
“This is the next logical step in the development of DPSS as it was envisioned by campus leaders, including the Board of Regents, when the division was created in 2012,” said President Mark Schlissel.
Police chiefs at the Dearborn and Flint campuses will begin reporting to DPSS Executive Director Eddie Washington Jr. Oct. 1.
Having the leaders of all campus safety and security departments reporting to one universitywide leader is consistent with the best practices among higher education peers.
DPSS was initially created to unify, under common leadership, the public safety units on the Ann Arbor campus. In 2012 those units included U-M Police, Hospital Security, Housing Security, Emergency Management and other campus security functions.
Board of Regents Chair Andrew Richner said this important change in reporting lines will provide additional support to the Dearborn and Flint campuses.
“This change will create a cohesive leadership team for campus safety and security, all reporting to a respected law enforcement leader in Eddie Washington,” Richner said. “The regional campuses will have more direct support than ever before.”
Regent Kathy White added, “The purpose of this change is to increase unity of effort across the three campuses. This also will expand the university’s ability to more efficiently and effectively deploy its resources.”
Washington said the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint police chiefs will continue to manage their campuses’ day-to-day operations.
“My commitment is to support the regional campus police chiefs so they are able to meet the safety needs of their communities,” he said.
UM-Dearborn Chancellor Domenico Grasso said the new reporting line makes perfect sense.
“This allows our campus police and public safety officers to be aligned with the Ann Arbor campus in many important ways,” Grasso said.
The UM-Dearborn Police and Public Safety Department is currently led by Tim Wiley, interim chief of police and director of public safety, effective Oct. 1.
UM-Flint Chancellor Susan Borrego said she appreciated the fact that the Flint campus will have added support from DPSS and Washington, while daily operational decisions will continue to be made in Flint.
“This change allows the public safety teams at UM-Flint and UM-Dearborn to more seamlessly collaborate with their law enforcement colleagues on all of our campuses,” Borrego said.
At UM-Flint the Department of Public Safety is led by Chief Ray Hall.
Police officers on all campuses are deputized under state law and there is a Police Department Oversight Committee that operates separately on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses.