UD Names New Chief of Police

UD’s new police chief Savalas Kidd (pictured above) with a newspaper clipping from 25 years ago in which he expressed his desire to become a police chief. Courtesy of the University of Dayton

Sean Newhouse 
Online Editor-in-Chief

Brand new police officer Savalas Kidd told a newspaper in 1995 that he intended to become a police chief. Twenty-five years later, that newspaper clipping hangs in Kidd’s new office in Fitz Hall. 

The University of Dayton announced Tuesday that Kidd, who has served as UD’s assistant chief of police since 2017, will be the new executive director of public safety and chief of police.

The university announced earlier this month that Rodney Chatman, the current public safety executive director and chief of police, will leave UD on Feb. 7 to become the chief of police at the University of Utah. Kidd’s term begins on Feb. 10. 

“I’m honored the University has placed its confidence in me, and I look forward to building upon the foundation laid in student development and public safety in providing a safe and secure environment for our students,” Kidd said. 

Kidd has 25 years of policing experience, including in the Ohio attorney general’s office and in the Cincinnati area. 

The new police chief told Flyer News he came to UD because he “wanted to transition into a community.” 

“When I came aboard, I met so many great people…I started to understand why so many people love UD and care for UD because I think we have a great community here,” he said. “So that was the reason why I came, it’s the reason why I’m here and I’m glad to be here.” 

Kidd said his priority is to maintain and enhance safety and security while communicating these efforts with the campus. Specifically, he said he needs to find a new assistant police chief and would like to hire more police officers. He said he also would like to create more student opportunities within Public Safety. 

Similar to Chief Chatman (@udchiefchatman), Chief Kidd plans on having an active Instagram presence and potentially using other social media to connect with students. 

When asked about the increase in liquor and drug law arrests on UD’s campus in 2018, Kidd said “education is the key component” to reduce risky behavior among students. 

He also said public safety has strengthened the department’s resources to identify the perpetrators of a number of recent bias incidents on campus, including the hanging of white nationalist posters and multiple thefts of a pride flag from a house in the student neighborhood that is primarily for LGBTQ+ students. 

Student government president Bryan Borodkin expressed enthusiasm about Kidd’s appointment. 

“In my time knowing Savalas, he has always been an incredible leader and police officer. He has demonstrated incredible care for the University and for all students who call it home,” Borodkin said. “I truly believe he possesses many of the qualities that made Chief Chatman so incredible, and I have all the confidence Savalas will be an incredible police chief.” 

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