Deputy Chief Rick Mclenon
- Patrol Operations
- Special Events
- Hospital Security Operations
- Community Outreach
- Main Campus Security
- Administrative Operations
- Administrative Operations
- Information Technology
- Investigative Operations
- Special Events
- Victim Advocate
Director Jeff Graviet
- Emergency Management Services
- Assistant to the Chief
- Budget Officer
The mission of the University of Utah, Department of Public Safety is to work collaboratively with our students, staff, and faculty to create a safe and welcoming campus. We endeavor to do this by holding true to our core values of integrity, respect for the law, respect for individuals and service to the community. We strive to always provide a respectful, courteous and professional service to all who live, work and visit our community.
The core values of the organization are:
There is no more important value for us as law enforcement and security professionals than demonstrating integrity in all we say and do.
- Respect for the Law:
Consistent with aggressively protecting our integrity is a similar duty to demonstrate an uncompromising respect for the law. We are expected to live by and obey the same laws we are charged with enforcing.
- Respect for Individuals:
In meeting our obligations under the law, demonstrating respect for individuals both outside and inside the organization is essential. We will treat the people we contact and our colleagues inside the department with courtesy, respect and dignity. Biased behaviors of any description damage our ability to serve the University community and to work effectively together as public safety employees.
- Service to the Community:
We recognize that public safety departments are service organizations. In providing this service it is essential that we develop strong lasting partnerships with the University community to solve community related problems, to enhance public safety, reduce crime and diminish the fear of crime.
The University of Utah Police Department began in January 1948 as a security department that had “Special Police Officers” with limited powers. Security vehicles at that time consisted of a 3-wheeled motorcycle, a used army jeep and hand-me-downs from other departments on campus. Traffic accidents, arrests, other more serious problems and criminal investigations were handled by local police agencies.
With the construction of the University Medical Center and Hospital, other campus construction and increased traffic it was apparent that the department would need to be restructured to meet the needs of the University Community. So, on January 1, 1966, J. Elroy Jones was hired as the Chief of the University of Utah Police Department and by August 1, 1966, all the officers were sworn in as state police officers. Although sworn, the officers were not initially allowed to carry guns until 1968 after Chief Jones debated “If they are going to have to perform police duties, arrest people of all kinds and descriptions, then, of course, they are going to have to have the force necessary to effect the arrest.”
When the department was restructured, the traditional law enforcement chain of command was implemented. The security and police divisions were split with the police side of the house forming patrol, traffic and investigations units. In addition to these units a parking lot division was created to handle parking issues on campus. The parking division separated from the police department in 1971 and became Parking Services, which morphed into today’s Commuter Services. In the late 1960’s, the department instituted its own 24/7 dispatch service that in 2010/2011 was rebuilt into a state of the art 911 public safety access point (PSAP). The dispatch center currently monitors over 500 alarm systems for various campus buildings.
The original standard duty police uniform consisted of a navy blue blazer and slacks with a light blue shirt and tie. It was felt that the softer image made the officers more professional and approachable with the public. A military type light blue shirt and “pinks” pants were worn for events. The blazers were discontinued in 1976 and the uniform was changed to the light blue shirt and navy trousers. In the early 1990’s the uniform was changed to a navy blue shirt and navy cargo pants. Today, the patrol officers wear a functional dark blue uniform with straight legged pants and shirt.
For several years police vehicles were an issue. In the mid 1970’s the patrol fleet consisted of two old Dodges and two AMC Ramblers. For many years, Investigations vehicles were either used cars or seized vehicles from drug cases. Eventually, the department was allowed to purchase new fleet vehicles for both patrol and investigations. In the late 1990’s, a change was made and the department began leasing vehicles from Motor Pool which reduced fleet maintenance costs. Unlike most local agencies the University of Utah Police Department did not have a car per officer program. This all changed in 2009 when Chief Scott Folsom, with the support of the University of Utah Administration, was able to implement a car per officer program.
During the 1980’s the police officers were still carrying a Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum revolver as their issued duty weapon and a PR24 as their intermediate weapon. After much consideration and testing, the Glock 17, 9MM was selected to be the standard issued weapon for the officers and the PR24 was replaced by the ASP and Pepper Spray as intermediated weapons. In the 2000’s, Tasers were also issued to the officers. For several years, officers could also take a department shotgun with them on duty but it was turned in at the end of the shift. Officers were now allowed to carry their own shotguns and patrol rifles on duty after passing a proficiency course.
As mentioned previously, Elroy Jones, a former FBI agent, was the first Chief of the Police Department. In July of 1971, Lt. Wayne Shepherd, who had been a former officer with the Orem Police Department before coming to the University, became the Chief upon the resignation of Chief Jones.
During Chief Shepherd’s tenure a four day work week was instituted which provided more officers in the field at critical times, resulting in drop in both felonies and misdemeanors. Chief Shepherd also implemented a selective traffic enforcement program which reduced the number of traffic accidents on campus by 45% the first year. He also emphasized community relations and self- defense programs, crime prevention and ride along programs were also instituted.
Robert Wilson from Washington State University became the Chief of Police in 1996 upon Chief Shepherd’s retirement. He continued Chief Shepherd’s efforts with the Olympic movement and preparations for the event. Chief Wilson retired in July, 2001, and Lt. Ben Lemmon was appointed Interim Chief. Chief Lemmon continued in that position until he was appointed Chief in April, 2002. The final planning and Winter Olympic Games took place under his guidance. The final phase of TRAX Commuter Rail was also completed on Campus after the Olympic Games. Also, the University welcomed its students back to campus after an extended break due to the Olympics.
After a relatively short tenure, Chief Lemmon retired in November, 2003, and Lt. Lynn Mitchell was appointed as Interim Chief. Chief Mitchell worked closely with Associate Vice President Mike Perez to move the department forward and some excellent ideas came forth. After a seven month search, Chief Scott Folsom, Salt Lake City Police, was appointed Chief in June 2004. Since that time many changes have taken place within the department. Chief Folsom dedicated himself to working with and involving the campus community in planning for the future of the department. By fostering an attitude of concern and caring he has developed much support from the community and university administration.
The current Director of Public Safety / Chief of Police is Dale G. Brophy. Chief Brophy took over full time operations of the department in September 2014. Chief Brophy has moved the department in the direction of preparedness. The training and development of best practices in rapid response, special events management and emergency management have been the cornerstone of his administration thus far. Chief Brophy emphasizes the core values of the department [INTEGRITY – RESPECT FOR THE LAW – RESPECT FOR INDIVIDUALS – COMMUNITY SERVICE] and pushes the tenet of professionalism in all things we do.
Certain events in society play a role in determining what officers need in order to do their job safely and effectively. Since 2005, the University police officers have received the following: tasers, mobile laptops, breaching tools, in car video, patrol rifles, car per officer and a step plan for pay raises.
The department also has Segways and bicycles for the patrol and security officers that are used for inner campus patrol and special events. These modes of transportation offer great flexibility and personal interaction with students, staff and faculty. There was a motorcycle division from the early 1980’s around 2000 but it was phased out in favor of the bicycle officers.
Events are a large part of campus life and the University brings in large crowds for football, basketball and gymnastics. Officers are an integral part of many events and have learned about crowd control, traffic control and security as a result. During the last 50 years, a new basketball arena has been built that increased seating about 2 ½ times. The football stadium has been renovated three times, also increasing the seating about 2 ½ times. There are also concerts, museums and speakers or presenters that have drawn large crowds and, at times, require a high level of security.
There are two events that stand out. In 1979 the NCAA Basketball Final Four came to the Special Event (now Huntsman) Center. Although not a world class event at the time, it was known for bringing Magic Johnson (Michigan State) and Larry Bird (Indiana State) together in the championship game. Historically, that Final Four was the precursor to “March Madness”. However, the most demanding event with regard to police and security on the campus was the 2002 Winter Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremony and the Athletes Village. This event required the support of hundreds of officers from local, state and federal agencies to meet the various demands surrounding security issues. Officers were responsible for the safety of 1,500 athletes and coaches, 7,000 employees, 54,000 spectators and numerous heads of state and celebrities. It is estimated that the games were broadcast to 3 billion viewers.
In summary, there have been several changes within the department over the last 51 years. We will continue to evolve to meet the needs of our community. We are proud to say that we are a fully operational department of public safety that is capable of responding and acting to anything that occurs on campus. We strive to provide a safe and friendly environment to those who live, work, attend or visit our campus. We appreciate the relationships we share with our community members and work hard every day on their behalf.