MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF SAFETY OFFICER
As the University of Utah’s inaugural Chief Safety Officer, I am honored to move safety efforts forward in a way that best serves this community. Having a sense of safety and belonging is foundational for individuals to grow and thrive, which is essential on a university campus. As a department, we are committed to earning your trust as we commit to fulfilling our responsibilities with integrity, compassion, and respect.
Since joining the U in early 2020, I have reorganized our safety functions in order to build an infrastructure that increases capacity, improves accountability and transparency, and better meets the needs of the U community. Under the new structure, I oversee five operational units: University Police, Emergency Management, U Health Security, Campus Security, and Community Services. I also manage an administrative team responsible for our strategic initiatives, strategic communication and marketing, relationships with external public safety agencies, public safety committee management, community engagement, and security and law enforcement technologies.
These divisions are working collectively toward achieving national accreditation, which requires that we meet a set of professional standards and adhere to best practices related to health, safety, and security procedures. To facilitate community partnership and oversight, we developed a Public Safety Advisory Committee and an Independent Review Committee, which will include students, faculty, and staff members and will ensure broad representation in public safety decision-making. We are also engaged in a variety of efforts aimed at increasing racial, ethnic, and gender diversity among our staff in order to better reflect and represent those whom we serve.
I recognize that safety looks and feels different to each person and am committed to leading a division that works with the community to foster a safe environment where all individuals feel empowered and equipped to succeed in their work, education, and other business with the university.
Marlon C. Lynch
Chief Safety Officer
University of Utah
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.
PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING
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.
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.
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.
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.
Committee focused on increasing safety while respecting privacy
March 30, 2021
The University of Utah Surveillance System Administrator Committee (SSAC) was created in 2019 and is responsible for the implementation of […]Read More
University Safety releases its first annual report
March 23, 2021
University of Utah Safety published its first annual report in March. The comprehensive document covers the department’s reorganization, administrative changes, […]Read More
University of Utah breaks ground on new public safety building
March 9, 2021
Construction on the University of Utah’s new public safety building began in late February and remains on schedule to be […]Read More
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD
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 Services, Campus Security, and U Health Security.