The U is restructuring its public safety infrastructure to improve accountability and better meet the needs of the U community. The new chief safety officer, Marlon C. Lynch, now directly oversees the U’s emergency management, U of U Health security, campus security, and police divisions. Previously, these units all reported to the chief of police.
As part of the reorganization, a new community services division has also been created to help crime victims, and Lynch has hired former Utah Department of Public Safety Commissioner Keith Squires to focus on relationships with external public safety agencies and campus safety committees.
Additionally, a new security and law enforcement technology director will be hired to oversee the department’s IT infrastructure, and an administrative director came onboard to manage strategic initiatives, communications and marketing, and budget planning.
“We recognize that there are many aspects to individual safety, and we know that our work cannot happen in a silo,” says Lynch. “These changes will enhance our partnerships on campus, as well as with community agencies.”
Despite the limitations placed on campus by the coronavirus pandemic, Lynch has connected with ASUU, the Academic Senate Executive Committee, Staff Council, and other students, faculty, and staff members to keep them apprised of these changes, incorporate their feedback, and gain input during hiring processes.
In addition to these division-wide changes, University Police has a new command staff to lead a unit focused on fostering partnerships and collaborating with community stakeholders.
“This is a transformational time,” says Lynch. “I am honored to be part of the foundational efforts in creating a culture of safety at the U.”