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Posted on Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 5:57 a.m.

University of Michigan police to begin holding regular public meetings

By Kellie Woodhouse

The University of Michigan Department of Public Safety will hold its first public meeting of the fall semester at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.


A concerned woman asked a question to Ann Arbor's safety council of (from left to right) U-M police Chief Greg O' Dell, Ann Arbor fire Marshal Kathleen Chamberlain, Ann Arbor fire Chief Chuck Hubbard and Ann Arbor police Chief Barnett Jones during an Old West Side Association public safety forum Oct. 26 at Bach Elementary School.

The meeting comes nearly three months after new public safety director Greg O’Dell promised to hold weekly public meetings throughout the year.

DPS has not held any public meetings so far, but O'Dell did attend an Old West Side Association public safety forum Oct. 26 at Bach Elementary School.

It also comes after police this week charged a Canton man in a dormitory sexual attack and after a series of sexual attacks that occurred over the summer.

At next week's meeting, DPS officers involved in key crime investigations will brief attendees on recent crime activity and trends.

DPS anticipates similar meetings will be held twice each semester, a decrease from O'Dell's original promise of weekly meetings.

“We really need to hear what the community has to say, what the community’s concerns are,” O’Dell said in August.

Police spokeswoman Diane Brown said that holding regular public meetings is a significant change for the department.

"We haven’t done this before," she said. "It’s a new thing for us."

The meeting will be held at the DPS main office at 1239 Kipke Drive near Crisler Arena and Michigan Stadium.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Kai Petainen

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

how was the meeting today? an update, please? I was unable to make it.


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

Are these meetings being held on U of M property? If so I guess I and those like me are not invited. By like me, I mean those who know that campus is a known criminal safety zone and who refuse to become victims.


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

How many people will actually attend these meeting and actually learn from them? I am pleased that DPS has this plan for the public meetings. To many people just don't care about meetings and probably won't attend. (mostly those that continue to be (crime) minded. Good Luck!

Kai Petainen

Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 1:52 p.m.

Here are my thoughts. A bunch of compliments, and a few recommendations. Compliments: The DPS has improved a lot in the past year. I'm happy to see these improvements. 1. They list events that were previously not listed on the DPS daily beat. I had requested this, and they have helped out. 2. They got a police chief, and I think the change in leadership was good. 3. They have collaborated more with the city police and other departments. 4. They have reached out to the community (via the Ann Arbor news) and provided updates about the ongoing issues in Ann Arbor. 5. They have established the public meetings, and that's fantastic for community input. These are all good things. If I could offer 2 recommendations. 1. Don't let an incident like the one that happened at UC Davis, happen here. I heard through the grapevine that the SGA is not interested in protesting (or standing in solidarity) as it is a political matter (so you might be in luck). The issue at UC Davis, is not about OWS, but about the freedom of speech/protesting by non-violent protesting students. If the students here decide to protest peacefully, then let them do so, and lets set an example of how it can be done non-violently. 2. For cases that are closed and unsolved. Have the courage to ask another agency to investigate. You have great officers, but it wouldn't hurt to get a fresh view or a different angle on an unsolved case.


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 7:17 p.m.

Great post - specifically about the UC Davis example and how to respond to non-violent, non-aggressive resistance.

Kai Petainen

Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 12:37 p.m.

this is fantastic news. i'm SO proud of DPS for doing this sort of event. meetings with the public, collaboration with the city police.... DPS is heading in the right direction, and its great news.


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 11:36 a.m.

I tried to give Chief O'dell information regarding a football player's threat to rape a student again if she pressed rape charges against another football player but he refused the information. He reports the the University administration and thus his first job is to protect the institution not the public, just like at Penn State. It is just a matter of time before we have a very public scandal like Penn State and EMU.

hut hut

Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

The purpose of every bureaucracy is to protect and defend the bureaucracy. Police are defenders of their respective bureaucracies.