Change Aligns the UCI Police Department with the Campus Commitment to Inclusive Excellence
As the current national reckoning has underscored, policing is definitely a major focal point for change. The campus takes this seriously as part of a comprehensive commitment to inclusive excellence. A whole university approach toward safety and community conceives of the police department as serving the campus according to equity diversity, inclusion and free speech principles.
The Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) playa a critical role in the continuous improvement in campus policing. Reporting to Vice Chancellor of the Division of Finance and Administration Ron Cortez, PSAC consists of representatives from campus stakeholder groups, including undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff. (https://www.fa.uci.edu/psac/) Beginning in AY 2020-21, PSAC will conduct an evaluation of the UCI Police Department every three years. On August 6, PSAC chair Katie Tinto outlined critical steps toward community-focused policing, including the engagement of a national expert who will consider policies and procedures, review the department leadership, and administer a community survey. PSAC will also develop a framework review of police encounters and civilian complaints and conduct a review of processes for monitoring protests on campus, including the role of UCI’s Constructive Engagement Team.
In commending PSAC in reimagining safety and security, on August 10 Chancellor Gillman underscored his commitment to aligning the Police Department with the campus commitment to inclusive excellence. This commitment builds on the work of the Academic Senate’s 2017 report on UCIPD-UCI Community Relations and the 2019 Presidential Taskforce on University Policing. Indeed, in June Vice Chancellor Ron Cortez, Vice Chancellor Douglas Haynes, and Chief Liz Griffin announced initial steps. Among these include:
- Communicating campus expectations that all sworn officers promote equity, diversity and inclusion in serving the community.
- Ensuring annual completion of the Inclusive Excellence Certificate Program by a representative of the department’s command.
- Increasing compositional diversity among the department’s leadership.
- Elevating departmental accountability including posting police initiated stop data and compliant resolution.
- Securing campus feedback through scheduled policing survey administered by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in consultation with the Public Safety Advisory Council (PSAC).
- Augmenting performance review of the chief.