RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION
Reporting to the general counsel, the chief of public safety and security will be responsible for the management, administration, and oversight of Dallas College’s public safety operations and initiatives, including but not limited to campus safety programs, risk/threat management, campus policing, emergency medical response, emergency preparedness/management, and continuity of operations programs. The chief will establish departmental objectives and develop policies and procedures to accomplish those objectives and goals to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the Dallas College police departments and provide the highest level of safety and security for all Dallas College students, faculty, staff, visitors, and assets. They will collaborate with other related safety and security personnel, internally and externally, as appropriate, including internal stakeholders assigned to business continuity, IT, and risk management, to ensure Dallas College’s emergency preparedness, cyber security, business continuity, and essential safety and security-related functions are coordinated, robust, and employing best practices and are adaptable for a higher education environment.
Other key responsibilities, as outlined in the position description, include:
- Provides overall leadership to the Dallas College police department.
- Responsible for a staff of more than 150, represented in all Dallas College locations; responsibilities include but are not limited to recruitment, hiring, training, evaluation, and discipline in coordination with others.
- Identifies emerging trends in crime patterns, criminal behavior, domestic terrorism, and transnational terrorism and responds accordingly.
- Works closely with Dallas College leadership and others to build and maintain a strong internal network of resources to provide consistent service levels throughout Dallas College.
- Prepares and delivers reports to Dallas College leadership, the Dallas College Board of Trustees, and the public.
- Plans and administers the organization’s funds according to the approved budget which for FY 23-24 was ~$16M.
QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE
The position requires a master’s degree and five to ten years of experience in a highly responsible position in a related field. Must be eligible to attain peace officer status in the state of Texas. Preferred qualifications include formal and advanced public service education/training such as the FBI National Academy, FEMA Emergency Management Institute, or Military Post Graduate Schools and experience in organizational restructuring/reorganization.
Required knowledge, skills, and abilities as outlined in the position description:
- Demonstrated understanding and commitment to community policing philosophy.
- Advanced understanding of local, state, and federal requirements governing law enforcement, emergency and risk management, and data security and how they apply in higher education.
- Able to exercise tact, diplomacy, and confidentiality in dealing with sensitive and complex issues and situations.
- Ability to assess situations, identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions, make recommendations, and/or resolve problems.
- Demonstrated understanding and commitment to collaboration with behavioral health resources to provide mental health training to law enforcement personnel and include mental health, crisis intervention, and stabilization training for officers to ensure an understanding and use of tactics to defuse and minimize any harmful or potentially dangerous behavior an individual might exhibit during a call for service.
- Ability to use strategy and influence to achieve desired results with students, staff, and the community at large.
- Able to build and lead diverse teams and work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders to achieve results that are in the College’s best interest.
- Successful experience planning and implementing change management projects and/or restructuring in a large system comprised of multiple locations.
- Must have excellent interpersonal, oral, written, and presentation skills to effectively communicate with stakeholders and/or team members, as well as media and the community on complex issues in understandable terms and concepts.
- Able to ensure the status of projects, issues, and successes are communicated to team members and stakeholders at all levels of management and documented appropriately.
- Ability to promote innovative strategies to move the organization forward, set goals, create and implement action plans, and evaluate processes and results.
- Must have excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills to converse and interact with diverse, multicultural constituents internal/external to Dallas College.
- Strong knowledge and experience in providing effective customer service.
HISTORY OF THE POSITION
The position has been vacant since February 2023. The previous chief, Lauretta Hill, was in the role since 2016. The college has appointed an interim chief until a new chief is selected.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE
The new chief must possess a broad and deep understanding of national best practices concerning community policing, multiple campus cultures, modern technology, and staff development. Dallas College is recognized as an innovative leader across the country in programs and initiatives in higher education and expects its police department to be viewed as an innovative leader in policing, as well. The chief should be an experienced leader capable of managing crises and complex situations and equipped to contribute at both a strategic and tactical level to a vibrant, dynamic, and extensive community college environment with seven campuses in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Priorities and challenges for the position include:
- The police department and its officers deployed across its seven campuses collaborate highly with local, state, and federal law enforcement, fire safety, and EMS. It remains essential for the chief to forge a strong working relationship and positive partnerships with these entities that represent multiple cities and counties in their jurisdiction. As a state agency, the chief must also be keenly aware and familiar with applicable state statutes, processes, and timelines that apply to state personnel.
- The chief must demonstrate experience as an innovative problem solver and collaborative change agent.
- The chief should be committed to the unique mission of the college and effective police practices in the higher education environment.
- Police practices are under a microscope across the country. Officers should be visible, accessible, and engaged with the student body, consistently networking with the faculty and administration, interactively involving the campus in safety and security endeavors, and positively representing the department as an active member of the various Dallas College communities.
- The chief should use national best practices, innovative new trends, and professional networks to promote a kind and compassionate community policing philosophy.
- Students at Dallas College may attend multiple campuses and platforms concurrently. These attendance patterns amplify the need for consistent practices and policies.
- Student mental health is a priority for this position as Dallas College police have developed policies, practices, and resources to address this growing public health and safety concern. It will be important that the incoming chief has experience with initiatives to address this concern and to add additional professional development for the staff.
- The chief must prioritize staff recruitment and retention as the department has experienced vacancies due to retirements and competition with other agencies. The chief should also be prepared to collaborate and innovate with the College’s law enforcement academy, as well as with other stakeholders engaged in early college and dual credit programming, to explore opportunities to build an effective pipeline of qualified, trained, and talented individuals seeking a career in law enforcement, either with the College or other agencies.
- A demonstrated commitment to and knowledge of how to serve widely diverse groups and individuals in a higher education environment is essential to this position. The college serves a multi-generational population, beginning with high school students enrolled in dual credit classes and extending to programs for senior citizens in the community.
- Experience with urban policing will be helpful to the new chief as the seven campuses have unique cultures and challenges for campus safety.
- A collaborative relationship with the police department is desired and appreciated by students at the institution. The student leadership welcomes engagement with the police and is open to increased partnerships.
- Experience in a complex organization. This complexity across multiple campuses and the breadth of services and features provided by the police department create challenges as the department strives for equitable policies and practices across campuses.
Additional opportunities, priorities, and challenges for the new chief, as articulated by stakeholders, are as follows:
- The chief must earn the trust of campus leadership, students, and direct reports.
- Dallas College aspires to be a leader in police practices.
- The chief should be a visible and engaged member of the campus community.
- The chief should know how to navigate different cultural spaces.
- Relationship building should be a priority for the chief.
- Collaborative problem-solving is essential for success in this position.
- The chief should advocate for both the staff and the campus community.
- The chief will need strong change management skills.
- The chief must recognize that the institution continues to come together with processes, practices, and efficiencies after merging seven campuses.
- Experience with working with multiple jurisdictions is vital for the new chief.
- The chief will need to inspire greater confidence in the police force on all campuses.
- The chief will find an institution that recognizes and welcomes innovation in processes and solutions.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
The items listed below will define the new chief’s success throughout the first year of employment:
- The department has established goals and priorities for the next five years.
- The chief has established solid relationships in partnership with individuals, student groups, departments, and organizations across the college and the communities served by the seven campuses.
- The chief is viewed as a strong leader, the college expert on law enforcement, and the “face” of the department.
- Based on best practices nationwide, the department employs the latest and most effective campus law enforcement and community policing practices.
- Campus assessments show that student, faculty, staff, and community perceptions of the police force and the services provided are positive.
- Staff morale and retention have improved.
OVERVIEW OF THE DEPARTMENT OF POLICE AND SAFETY
The department of police and safety serves the needs of students, faculty, and staff by providing a welcoming, accessible, safe, and secure educational environment with a goal to build a community of trust through partnerships, transparency, and fair and impartial policing. Five values guide the work of the department:
- Ethics– To work in the appropriate manner at all times being professional, tactful, and courteous when performing duties and protecting the rights of all individuals.
- Accountability– Being responsible for one’s own actions; embracing the philosophy that it is the individual’s responsibility to manage his or her life, work, and property with regards to others.
- Professionalism– Promoting the highest standards of appearance, conduct, and propriety in all that is said and done; recognize that departmental actions set an example for others to follow.
- Leadership– Providing for uniformity of direction and action toward the organization’s mission; motivating others to action through setting an example in both work ethic and conduct.
- Justice– Officers must enforce the law, rules, and regulations without regard to ethnic origin, race, religious belief, or sexual orientation, whether a person is a complainant or suspect.
Dallas College, formerly known as the Dallas County Community College District, is one of Texas’ largest community college systems, including seven campuses around the Dallas/Fort Worth area. They strive to be a leader in the community college space, placing students at the center of everything they do. Since 1965, Dallas College has served more than three million students.
About the Campuses
Dallas College originally operated as a district of seven independently accredited colleges. In 2020, those colleges united under a single name in order to offer students a more streamlined, more convenient experience.
The Student Body (2021-2022 data)
Total enrollment: 120,992
Diversity Equity and Inclusion Mission Statement
“Our mission is to cultivate and sustain a diverse, inclusive, equitable, welcoming, and belonging-based community where our members actively practice solidarity for the greater good of the community culture and everyone’s experiences.”
Justin Lonon, Chancellor
For more than 17 years, Dr Justin H. Lonon has provided proven executive and strategic leadership for Dallas College, guiding the institution to fulfill its mission of “transforming lives and communities through higher education.” Following a unanimous vote by the Dallas College board of trustees in 2021, Lonon began serving as the college’s eighth chancellor in March 2022.
Lonon previously served as executive vice chancellor, leveraging his institutional knowledge to provide intentional leadership to the finance, governmental relations, legal, board relations, diversity, equity and inclusion, facilities, human resources, innovation and technology, marketing and communications, safety and security, emergency management, institutional effectiveness, and strategic initiatives functional areas.
Lonon served as a driving force in consolidating the 55-year-old Dallas County Community College District—and its seven colleges—into one Dallas College. The historic move helps to meet the needs of Dallas County students, improving their access to in-demand degrees and credentials.
Robert Wendland, General Counsel
Wendland has 40 years of experience in the practice of law. Prior to joining the college, Wendland spent 30 years in private law practice and was a partner in three Dallas-area law firms, practicing in the areas of commercial litigation, school law and local government law, real estate construction, land use and zoning, condemnation, banking, insurance law, utility cooperatives, and special districts, as well as general commercial and business law. Wendland is a graduate of the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dallas College offers an outstanding and comprehensive benefits package and is responsive to the needs of its employees, staff, and faculty.
Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Laura Puckett-Boler at email@example.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The public salary range is $150,000 to $170,000.
Visit the Dallas College at https://www.dallascollege.edu.
Dallas College is part of an equal opportunity system that provides education and employment opportunities without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Dallas College complies with the Americans with Disabilities and Veterans Act.
We provide a welcoming, respectful working and learning environment where we embrace, appreciate, value, and celebrate our differences and similarities, encouraging employees to participate in open conversations where everyone has a chance to be heard, acknowledged, and welcomed.