Police chief search starts

Originally published December 3, 2010

Since University Police Chief Dave Baer’s retirement from the Bradley Police Department, BUPD has had no official leader.

However, a recently formed committee is helping to select a new chief for the position.

Nathan Thomas, the executive director of residential living and leadership, is the chair of the committee that consists of several members of the faculty, members of the police department and student body.

“The best way to describe it is as a diverse group,” Thomas said.

The hiring of a police chief is a two-step process. The university hired a search organization that will cull recommendations and applications from around the nation for the position.

The group that conducted the safety and security audit on campus earlier in the semester will join the search organization in screening the applicants before the committee selects the ideal candidate.

After incidences last semester, crime on campus was an issue at the forefront of many students’ minds, and Thomas said addressing that concern is one of the committee’s top priorities.

“When we’ve talked about what the police chief will do, that’s in the top three of things to do in the university,” he said. “They have 15 to 16 officers, manage a big budget and they have to be open to student concerns on campus. Part of what the new chief will have to do is not only bring their own ideas to campus, but they will have to implement some of the plans here on campus.”

Although there is no definitive time frame for selecting a new police chief, Thomas emphasized that selecting a new leader was extremely important.

“Of utmost importance though is to find the absolutely right person for the position,” Thomas said. “The committee and university will not sacrifice this. This being said, we have a very aggressive timeline to fill the position.”