The University of Utah created two new public safety committees this month: the Public Safety Advisory Committee and the Independent Review Committee.
Students, faculty and staff from across the institution will be members of the committees. The groups are designed to represent a broad array of stakeholders in public safety decision making.
“Incorporating the community into the growth, development and oversight of public safety functions is essential in creating an environment built on trust and mutual respect,” University of Utah Chief Safety Officer (CSO) Marlon Lynch said in an announcement made by the school on Monday. “These committees will bring various perspectives and voices to the table so that university safety evolves in a way that best meets the needs of our community.”
Both committees will be managed by Keith Squires, executive officer in the Office of the Chief Safety Officer.
According to the university, the Public Safety Advisory Committee will assist the CSO in the development of the department’s strategic direction, providing advice and constructive criticism. It will also assist in educating the campus community about the department’s programs, services and initiatives.
Meeting monthly, the committee will review policies and procedures, making recommendations for their improvement. It will also publish an annual report for the university president’s cabinet, and the report will be available online.
The Independent Review Committee is independent from the department and won’t replace the existing formal internal review and disciplinary procedures, according to the university. It will review complaints made against public safety personnel, as well as evaluate their actions and make recommendations about policies and procedures when necessary. Specific issues that will be addressed include excessive force, violation of rights, abusive language or dereliction of duty.
The committee will create an annual report of all incidents, as well as any changes to policies or procedures that have been recommended. The report will be provided to the CSO and will available online for the campus community.
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