The University of Utah’s efforts to prioritize, elevate, and reimagine safety inspired me to reengage in public safety service, joining the Chief Safety Officer in this important work. While I did not anticipate transitioning from my role as executive officer to interim CSO, I am honored to move forward the vision put forth by inaugural CSO Marlon C. Lynch.

I have always been passionate about public safety and service and look forward to leading with respect and empathy. After three decades of working in law enforcement, including serving as commissioner of Public Safety for the state of Utah, I know that the future of public safety depends on listening to the community, being open to doing our work differently, and acknowledging our difficult past and holding ourselves accountable to it.

All of the work done over the past year under CSO Lynch’s leadership has been aimed at increasing capacity, improving transparency, and strengthening professional standards. I stand firmly behind these efforts and will continue the commitment to cultivating an environment where students, employees, patients, and visitors can learn, grow, and succeed.

I want to assure the U community that our team remains dedicated to earning your trust and partnering with you to create a safe and welcoming environment where everyone feels safe, welcomed, accepted, and empowered to succeed.


Keith Squires
Chief Safety Officer
University of Utah

Key Initiatives


The U is seeking accreditation through both the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), as well as the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). CALEA accreditation is recognized as the “gold standard in public safety” and requires that agencies meet an established set of professional standards and best practices. The accreditation process began in early June 2020 with enrollment in the CALEA program and is expected to take approximately 36 months and should be completed by mid-2023. IACLEA accreditation builds on this with a few additional requirements specific to higher education and will occur immediately after CALEA accreditation is achieved.

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Construction on a new public safety building began in late February 2021. The one-story building will be located on 500 South, east of Guardsman Way, and will replace the existing public safety facility originally built in 1948. The 24,000-square-foot building will be accompanied by a 2,500-square-foot ancillary/storage building and a secured parking area. It will house the university’s public safety functions, including a state-of-the-art Communications Center, an emergency operations center built to certifiable specifications, and interview rooms and property and evidence rooms will be built to maintain the integrity of those processes.

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The department developed a five-year strategic plan to guide University Safety efforts over the coming years. A group of representatives from across the department began meeting regularly in June 2020 to create a plan that outlines the vision, mission, objectives, strategies, and action plans that provide a foundation for the growing and evolving department and direct its efforts into the future.

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The U’s Campus Alert System is designed to reach everyone on campus in the best way possible during an emergency. Most alerts are sent via email. On rare occasions, when every second counts, emergency messages will be sent via text to cell phones. To sign up to receive text notifications, log into CIS and click on the Campus Alert link. Students, faculty, staff and even visitors can also be alerted of emergencies using the U Heads Up app.

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The Chief Safety Officer has created new committees and is revitalizing existing ones. These committees include students, faculty, and staff and ensure broad representation is included in public safety decision-making. The new Public Safety Advisory Committee explores policies, training requirements, and diversity strategies. The Independent Review Committee reviews citizen complaints of abusive language, violations of rights, excessive force, and dereliction of duty brought against public safety personnel. Following internal affairs reviews, this committee will be able to comment on policies and recommend procedural and communication changes.

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Keith Squires Named University of Utah Chief Safety Officer

January 5, 2022

Squires has been serving as interim chief safety officer since April 2021. His appointment to lead the university’s safety operations […]

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Community Services now offers canine-assisted support

November 15, 2021

The University of Utah Safety Department’s Community Services division acquired a facility dog, Dreamy, to provide trauma-informed care and supportive […]

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University of Utah peace officer body-worn camera rule finalized

November 9, 2021

Interim rule R1-011A, which provides guidelines for the body-worn cameras used by University of Utah peace officers was approved by the […]

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    We are committed to continuous improvement and to creating a safe environment that meets the needs of the U community. Please share your feedback with us. This information is received by the Office of the Chief Safety Officer, which serves as the central administrative unit for all public safety functions, including University Police, Community Services, Emergency Management, Emergency Communications, Campus Security, and U Health Security.

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