U-M hires former Michigan State Police director as head of Division of Public Safety and Security
The University of Michigan Thursday announced Eddie Washington, Jr., a former director of the Michigan State Police, will lead the University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security, pending Board of Regents approval.
Courtesy of U-M
Washington will start in his role as executive director of the U-M DPSS on July 23, pending approval from the University of Michigan Board of Regents at its July 18 meeting, according to a university news release.
He will take over from U-M Police Chief Joe Piersante, who has been leading the division on an interim basis since its creation in October.
Washington worked for the Michigan State Police for 27 years, achieving the rank of colonel and directing the agency in 2010. He left the state police and worked as a homeland security adviser to the university in 2011 and has worked as a security consultant for Dow Chemical.
In a statement released Thursday, Washington said, “I am thrilled and honored to be selected for this important position. The university has a tremendous team of safety and security professionals and I’m eager to start working with them.”
During his time as director of MSP, Washington was accused of "double dipping," when he collected a pension and a six-figure salary at the same time, according to a report in The Detroit News. One state representative said it caused a "morale problem" at the time.
The selection of Washington ends a six-month search that began earlier this year for a new executive director. The division was created in October 2012 in response to an external investigation into the six-month delay between the discovery of child pornography in the University of Michigan Hospital and the start of a police investigation into Stephen Jenson.
Jenson eventually pleaded guilty to a federal charge of possession of child pornography and will serve at least three years in prison.
Piersante will transition back to being the full-time head of the University of Michigan Police Department. The police, Hospital Security, Housing Security and University Security Services make up the four departments underneath the Division of Public Safety and Security umbrella.
The heads of those four agencies will report to Washington, who will report directly to the university president.
The university conducted a national search beginning in January. The search advisory committee was headed by Liz Barry, managing director of the Life Sciences Institute, and included Ann Arbor police Chief John Seto.