Police department seeks director prior to structure change

Stacy Reppond

With a new semester comes change for the university police department.

Executive Vice President Steven Richters confirmed Lt. Steven Mahon, former officer in charge, is “no longer with the university” as of last week. Richters said ULM would not comment further as “it’s a personnel issue.”

Lt. Donald Duncan will serve as temporary officer in charge as the university plans to a fill a director position.

The university plans to return the department to its original structure.

Following the departure of former police chief Larry Ellerman and former captain Dan Chason in 2012, ULM didn’t fill the positions but altered the hierarchy due to budget issues.

Richters said these leadership changes did not affect campus safety.

“The patrol structure never changed, and now we’re just ramping up the administrative structure,” Richters said.

Richters said an improved budget now allows the transition of UPD from the Executive Vice President’s office back to the Office of Student Affairs. This will occur after the university selects the new director.

Kylie Raines, a senior pre-nursing major, said she believes this will make students more inclined to trust and call UPD when in need.

“A lot of victims in crimes are too embarrassed to make a report. However, with a bond between student and officer, I believe that gap will begin to be filled,” Raines said.

The return will “make university police more student-friendly,” according to Camile Currier, Vice President of Student Affairs.

Currier also said reverting back to the original structure will increase visibility of university police.

“I’m looking forward to it from a Student Affairs standpoint,” Currier said.

Currier said students, faculty and staff should notice changes starting within a month.