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University takes steps to hire new Chief of Police

Brianna Wallen- News Editor

The police department is expecting a new wave of change. After previous Police Chief Jose Dooley retired following 41 years of service, the university is recruiting a new Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety.  

The Chief of Police oversees and manages initiatives related to public safety, sworn policing and the security of students and property. The role is responsible for a wide range of operations, including crime prevention, police, fire, emergency medical dispatching and the shuttle bus system.   

Sgt. Peter McKoy and Officer Craig Appleby in the Police Department on Feb. 23. Photo: Brianna Wallen

The hiring process entails candidates completing the first round of virtual interviews. Afterwards, the committee selected three finalists to enter phase two of the process. Those selected must do a live interview before the university’s community.  

Beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Adanti Student Center Theater on Feb. 20 and Feb. 22, students and staff members were able to tune into the open forums of Tony Eigner, the Campus Police and Public Safety Officer at Presbyterian College, and Makiem Miller, the Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety at Miami Dade College.  

The other candidate is Kenneth Rahn, Interim Chief of Police at the university. Rahn’s in-person interview is set to occur on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 1:30 p.m. in the Adanti Student Center Theater.  

As Rahn awaits his open forum, the university police department waits for the outcome of who will be recognized as the new Chief of Police.  

From inside the police department, Officer Craig Appleby shared insight on the hiring process.  

“There was a national search; then there was an application process,” Appleby said. “So, the three prospective candidates had to apply for a job just like they were like anybody would apply for a job,” Appleby said.  

Up next is the open forum, where the university’s committee has the final say in who becomes chief.  

Sergeant Peter McKoy said members from various on-campus departments from Human Resources to Residence Life attended the interview and made their final decision.  

“As a department, they have finalists speak to an open forum for anyone, students, faculty, staff, to come to speak to him,” McKoy said. “We believe the final outcome is going to be a combination of everything it hears from all those aspects.”  

While officers do not have any input in the process, they know what it takes to become a chief and what qualities will make them successful.  

“He has to have command presence, so when he’s on the scene, or he’s given instructions or orders, there has to be weight behind what he’s saying,” Appleby said. 

Being a police chief requires good communication. Appleby said that giving information correctly allows a task to be completed.  

Command presence goes hand in hand with being a good listener.  

“They have to be able to listen. I don’t want to say take instruction, but you know, they can’t be a dictator,” McKoy said. “They have to be willing to work with, you know, with their officers with their command staff.” 

While officers are on the scene policing, the chief’s duties are administrative. McKoy said that they are dealing with the budget and higher-ups in Residence Life.  

“We just have to deal with, you know, keeping the campus safe and, you know, be invisible. The chief, he will be visible,” McKoy said.   

With contributions from both officers, the department hopes the declared chief can juggle their many responsibilities. 

“So, we’ll see what happens. That’s all we can do. As you know, as the lowly soldiers, we can wait. We’ll take our orders,” McKoy said.  

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