By: Alise Jarmusz – Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy
Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Bruce Burt will retire from the University of Dayton in February after 14 years of service to the UD community.
His police career also included service to the surrounding Dayton area as an officer of the Dayton Police Department.
Burt, originally from northeast Ohio, first came to Dayton to gain career experience with the Dayton Police Department. His original plan was to move on after a short time in Dayton, but he ended up putting down roots – which turned into 39 years of police work.
His roles at the Dayton Police Department ranged from supervising 350 officers and managing the hostage negotiation team to overseeing the horse patrol, according to a UD Porches article. He retired from the Dayton Police Department with 25 years of service under his belt.
Burt started work at the University of Dayton in 2002 after his retirement from the Dayton Police Department. He saw a job opening and thought it would be a “great transition in [his] career from the Dayton Police Department to UD without having to relocate to another city,” he said in an interview with Flyer News.
Burt, who had three children near college age at the time, said he decided to apply to a position that “seemed like a perfect fit.” Soon after, he said he started work within the UD community and “saw a great opportunity to really advance the department forward”.
Chief Burt advanced the department a great deal since his start in 2002. According to a UD Porches article, “When Burt started, officers bought their guns, the dispatch center was pretty much a phone and radio and personnel turnover was extremely high.”
Now in 2015, officers use state-of-the-art equipment, the department employs a robust network of campus security systems, dispatch has access to the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) and officer retention is high.
According to a UD Porches article, Burt oversees the student rescue squad, student escort service, parking services and emergency management and compliance, as well as a mutual aid agreement he forged with the cities of Oakwood and Dayton, which offers university police as extra staff power in those areas on a needs basis.
“We appreciate and will miss Chief Burt’s service to the university and his contributions to improving the safety and security of the university community,” said Bill Fischer, vice president for student development. “Overseeing a university jurisdiction comes with a unique set of challenges. Chief Burt has managed them admirably and performed his duties with the highest level of professionalism and integrity.”
Although Burt is proud of the advancements the UD Police Department has made throughout his 14 years at the university, he said he is particularly fortunate to have found a close-knit environment at UD.
“You become a part of the UD family really, and it is a different environment than having worked in the public sector,” Burt said. “Being at a private, Marianist institution it is more of a family type atmosphere.”
“You still have the expectations that you do your job and produce, but people here truly care about each other and I appreciate that side of it,” Burt continued. “We have had our good days and our challenges, but the biggest thing I’ve enjoyed are the relationships I’ve made.”
Burt explained his biggest incentives for “moving on to the next phase of [his] life” are his grandchildren and the opportunity to relax and travel.
“I’m hoping to spend more time with my three daughters and my grandchildren before they grow up and don’t have as much time for grandpa,” Burt said about his hopes for his upcoming February retirement. “Family time is my biggest interest.”
Always looking out for the safety of the UD community, Burt said he would like to leave the students with some advice.
“We’re in a very safe environment here, but we are also part of an urban environment where we are not immune to the influences from the outside community,” Burt explained. “We need to continue to practice basic common sense crime prevention and look out for each other. That’s the biggest piece of it: is to look out for each other.”
A national search for Burt’s replacement will begin soon, and the next chief is expected to begin before Burt’s retirement this February.
Photo courtesy of UD Media Relations.