Selah Vetter, Staff Writer
Samford University has begun its search for a new director of public safety. The university held an open forum for students to attend on Sept. 3. Kevin Gillian, the chief of police at the University of North Alabama, was the first candidate.
“The forum provided an excellent opportunity for the Samford community to engage with the director of public safety candidate and to learn more about a proposed vision for the department,” SGA President Heath Padgett said.
Gillian has 24 years of law enforcement experience. He held numerous supervisory roles in both university and municipal police departments. Gillian has a doctorate of Business Administration in Criminal Justice. He also attended the FBI National Academy. The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators awarded Gillian as the “Director/Chief of 2018.”
Gillian outlined the plans he would implement should he be selected to lead Samford’s Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management. Gillian said he plans to work together with the community and campus to find a common goal by conducting community surveys and forums.
“Service is our passion, people are our heart,” Gillian said.
Gillian’s plans also call for better trained personal. He hopes to train with the local municipal police department. He also intends to have regular performance assessments.
“In order to protect life and property, prevent crime and reduce the fear of crime, university police should provide service with understanding, response with compassion, and performance with integrity,” Gillian said.
Gillian said he wants to have community engagement through educational and social opportunities. He hopes to have classes, such as self-defense lessons, available to students. He wishes to build relationships between university police and students through programs, such as Coffee with a Cop.
The next open forum with the university’s other candidate will be on Thursday Sept. 12 at 2:15 p.m. in the Howard Room. Students are invited to participate.