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Posted on Mon, May 6, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

University of Michigan reviewing applicants for head of new public safety division

By Kyle Feldscher

The University of Michigan continues to search for a permanent head of the Division of Public Safety and Security, according to a school official.

U-M spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said the job for the executive director of the division (DPSS) has been posted and the university’s search committee is reviewing applicants. There’s no set time frame on when a permanent executive director will be hired.

U-M police Chief Joe Piersante is currently serving as the interim director of DPSS. The heads of the U-M Police, Hospital Security, Housing Security and Security departments will all report to the executive director of DPSS. The executive director will then report directly to the university president.

The new division was set up in response to the external investigation into the six-month reporting delay in the Stephen Jenson case in 2012. Jenson was accused of having child pornography on a thumb drive left in a computer at U-M Hospital.

It was six months between the time of the initial discovery of the thumb drive and child pornography and when the case was finally brought to police.

A nine-member committee is conducting the search for the executive director. Elizabeth Barry, the managing director of the Life Sciences Institute, is the chairwoman of the committee, which includes Ann Arbor police Chief John Seto.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Tue, May 7, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

This looks like a slippery slope for UM administrators to abuse its police powers again.

Frustrated in A2

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 3 a.m.

If only the new chief knew what they are getting into.


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 3:44 p.m.

Chief O'Dell certainly did not know what he was getting into.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 10:32 a.m.

The search committee has no representatives selected by the faculty, the students, or the staff of the University. There are no representative from the DPS Oversight Committee, which is an elected body of faculty, staff & students who hear grievances submitted by the public about the officer and the department. In the past, there has alway been a representative from this committee on the search committee for a new police chief. In addition, the new chief will have an advisory panel, which is supposed to represent the people served by the department but it is entirely composed of high level administrators. This should give you the idea that the University wants to increase the control of the police and security forces by the administration.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 4:55 p.m.

And the black helicopters are already on order...


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 10:27 a.m.

The previous police chief, Greg O'Dell resigned without notice just 12 days after the child pornography case was reported to his department. Hmmm!