University of Washington President Mark A. Emmert announced today an administrative reorganization of UW Police from the office of the Executive Vice President to the Vice Provost for Student Life, effective Sept 1.
UW Police has reported to the Office of the Executive Vice President. In making the change in responsibility for administering the UW police department, Emmert pointed to the critical role the police play in providing a safe and secure environment for all members of the University community, but particularly for the student population. “Our outstanding police department has been one of the leading proponents of community policing on college campuses,” said Emmert. “This requires a clear understanding of who comprises our community and the critical importance of nurturing excellent relations and communications with them, particularly with our students, who are the single largest component.”
Under the new reporting relationship, UW Police will report to Vice Provost for Student Life Eric Godfrey. Godfrey has been deeply involved in student life and student conduct issues for many years and led the recent effort to develop new strategies and initiatives for addressing student life issues in the community north of 45th Street.
“Eric’s experience and his engagement for many years with our police make this an especially good fit. It emphasizes what is and should be foremost in our public safety concerns, namely the welfare of our students and all of us who are here to provide for them,” said Emmert.
Chief Vicky Stormo also announced that she will be retiring from her position as Chief of UW Police Jan. 31. Stormo has been chief since 1999 and has led the department’s aggressive crime prevention and outreach efforts. She has provided leadership for the University’s north of 45th Street efforts, including establishing the Incident Prevention Teams, and helped create the Workplace Violence Prevention program in 2000. During her tenure as chief, the University’s crime rate remained relatively low compared to other urban college campuses, and the department had a high rate of success in apprehending suspects. She introduced a number of management improvements to the department, including enhanced training opportunities for officers. The department received national accreditation in 2005.
Emmert said a national search for Stormo’s successor will begin right away.