The following is a statement from Chief Gary Gorski in response to the “Students take a stand against campus safety changes” article by Chanel Stitt:
To the UM-Dearborn Community,
In response to the recent Michigan Journal article regarding concerns over police and public safety staff alignment, I hope to provide you with greater insight into the public safety efforts that are being implemented on the UM-Dearborn campus.
I appreciated the recent opportunity to speak with the members of the Student Government and listen to their concerns and perspectives.
Improved fundamental public safety practices are essential to maintaining campus safety and security. The recent decision to adjust officer staffing, specifically re-assigning sworn police officers from midnight shifts to day and evening shifts, was necessary for enhancing our ability to provide services and be best able to respond to public safety concerns.
Being a commuter campus, it is in the best interest of the campus community to have sworn officers on the day and afternoon shifts when students, faculty and staff are on campus. Midnight shift responsibilities center on property protection and can be effectively handled by the UM-Dearborn security personnel.
Community engagement is an essential part of campus safety. All police officer and security officer roles have this responsibility and expectation. Strong partnerships begin with clarity and connecting within the community. It is the role of all UM-Dearborn Department of Police and Public Safety (DPPS) officers to promote prosocial connections with students, faculty and staff.
The DPPS has had a strong commitment to open communication and respect and will continue this focus as we move forward. I invite any student, staff or faculty member to visit my office for a conversation with me to discuss any concerns or issues you may have.
I am committed to the UM-Dearborn community in furthering a safe and inclusive educational campus environment.
Chief of Police
UM-Dearborn Department of Police and Public Safety