UD Public Safety Recognized For Campus Safety Initiatives

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Carley Roberts
Contributing Writer

Rodney Chatman is coming close to the second anniversary of serving as the executive director of public safety and chief of police for the University of Dayton.

Since joining the University back in January 2016, Chatman and other University administrators have been asked to speak at conferences to discuss the facets of their department.

And in November of last year, Chatman received the Allied Professional Award by the Ohio Crisis Response Team, solidifying another step in the direction he wishes to head in.

“Our goal is to be recognized among the best campus law enforcement agencies in the U.S.,” Chatman said. “Our first-year enhancements during the 2016-17 academic year have been well received and we are excited about what we’re rolling out this academic year.” 

Chatman wanted public safety to be seen around campus, even from blocks away in the student neighborhood. The goal was to visit regularly with students at various different outings around campus. 

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By attempting to generate awareness, the Citizen Police Academy, arranged for faculty, staff and students by Dayton Police, gives the opportunity for community members to witness public safety’s actions on a daily basis.

During these gatherings, the public could participate in “solving” a crime, patrol and have their own traffic stop as a sample.

“I have been really impressed with the public safety initiatives. Engagement with students is an important aspect of keeping campus safe. As a student, it is really impactful when officers are so willing to speak one-on-one with us about the changes and improvements,” University of Dayton Student Government Association president, Jamie Vieson, stated.

Chatman is setting up a Public Safety advisory committee and creating a review board for the campus community to assess the division’s operations. Along with these modifications, every supervisor will look over 10 body cameras each week.

“We feel the policy, oversight and accountability piece is really important,” Chatman said. “If we’re saying we’re going to be transparent, then we have to be transparent. We just can’t say it — we have to do it.”

This union will work with partners to prevent sexual assault with the help of different agencies on the federal, state and local levels. Their goal is to inform faculty, staff and students about being aware in dangerous situations and to promote staying safe on campus.

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An International Student Academy will also be created to help students from other countries adapt to U.S. laws and regulations, including managing parking tickets and steering clear of scam, specifically being threatened of deportation.

Chatman has high hopes of increasing awareness with Flyer Aware messages this year forming a virtual presence, involving crime prevention tutorials on Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

Chatman encourages students to spread crime prevention tips so students can acquire knowledge from one another and stay safe on campus.

Photo courtesy of udayton.edu.