As the year winds down to an end, many students have noticed some unfamiliar faces patrolling campus.
The department of Campus Safety has recently hired on a number of temporary staff to fill in the gaps that have opened up since the departure of a few staff members earlier this year.
“We’re going to fill the gap with short term folks to get through the last two weeks of the semester and make long term hires this Summer when we can give the process the time it is due,” said Laurel Kennedy said in an email to The Denisonian.
This process, as director Daniel Hect would describe, is rooted firmly in the idea of “community-based policing.”
Chief Hect, who was recently presented the director of the year award, took over the position in December of 2014 after leaving his role as director of campus safety at the University of Southern California.
In his relatively short tenure here, the newly renamed Campus Safety department has already received the medal of excellence from the university for their progressive approach to campus policing.
“This department used to be a ‘gotcha’ department,” said Hect, “Instead of one focused on communication and education.”
Hect believes that the way to effectively combat crime is not a matter of punishment, but rather a willingness to immerse oneself in the community.
“How do I serve the community, and not just get the ‘bad guy’?” He said.
Community-based policing is focused on establishing and maintaining trust with the community, something that Hect has been trying to emphasize since coming to Denison.
It is for this reason that Chief Hect has required all officers to engage with the community on some level- whether it be attending events around campus or simply having a conversation outside on the quad.
The motive is clear: Hect wants his officers to be involved with and give back to the community that they monitor.