UC-Merced’s Chou Her declines job as UOPD Chief in waiting

1/19/2016: Noah McGraw has the bad news in the Emerald here.

The only candidate for the Assistant Chief of the University of Oregon Police Department withdrew his application last week. Chou Her, who previously said he had been offered the position at the UOPD, cited personal conflicts as the main reason for withdrawing his candidacy.

… The assistant chief is the second in command of the department. UOPD requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to law enforcement, five years of sworn officer experience and three years of management experience. Increased applicant requirements come as the university looks to finalize its transition from the Department of Public Safety to a full police force. That transition began in 2012, as McDermed was promoted to chief. McDermed was the last person to hold the assistant chief position. She hopes to find a candidate who will be “motivated to move the department forward in our current transition.”

This leaves UO with a Police Chief with very damaged credibility and no obvious replacement. Schill and Coltrane have moved UOPD reporting from Jamie Moffitt to Andre LeDuc, and perhaps he will have more luck restarting the search after McDermed’s role is clarified. In the past UO has been very generous about keeping former public safety directors on the payroll after easing them out.

12/19/2015: UC-Merced’s Chou Her takes job as UOPD Chief in waiting, challenges Nicols and Stahl to bike race.

Noah McGraw has the good news in the Emerald here. Chief Her sounds like an excellent hire:

“I’m a big firm believer in community policing,” Her said. “If you’re just there simply providing a service and interacting with people, that’s not community policing. Community policing is truly getting down to the nuts and bolts of interacting with people and being part of the town. From what I’ve seen of what UO is, there’s a lot of opportunities to do those things.”

The clean up effort is underway, with reporting for the UOPD Chief already moved from VPFA Jamie Moffitt to Andre LeDuc. UO will presumably terminate current Police Chief Carolyn McDermed’s contract as soon as the Bowl of Dicks case is over, and promote Assistant Chief Her to Chief. It really wouldn’t look good to do this right before a jury trial.

10/28/2015: Chief McDermed’s potential replacement on campus Wednesday

Interim Chief Chou Her’s pay at UC-Merced was $105K last year. He has far more experience than McDermed, whom we are currently paying $139K.

Also in contrast to McDermed, Chou Her does not seem to have been named as a defendant in any federal lawsuits, much less found liable in an expensive and embarrassing scandal, as McDermed was in the Bowl case.

The most disturbing thing I found on Her, from a google search for “Chou Her” UC-Merced was this report on “Campus Bunnies”:

They sleep in secret, fuzzy beds and have questionable dietary habits. They prefer to be active in the evenings and early mornings. They are easily startled and can, if the situation calls for it, do some damage with their legs.

…Bunnies approached for this story fled, declining comment.

It appears, anecdotally, their population has dropped off since the campus opened in 2005, said UC Merced Police Lt. Chou Her. … As far as Her knows, no rabbits have sneaked into the dorms or been spotted in any other unexpected places.“But who would call the police if a bunny got into their dorm anyway? Unless it had broken in to raid your fresh carrot stash,” Her joked. “What we have found is students – especially with each new freshman class – will try to catch them or play with them because, as one student said, ‘the little baby bunnies are just so cute.’”

In contrast if you google McDermed you will find many stories about chronic mismanagement at the UOPD, and not just about the bowl. Here’s a partial summary from a 2014 report by Betsy Hammond in the Oregonian:

In fall 2011, to settle public safety officer Amanda Williams’ state civil rights complaint that Cameron sexually harassed her, UO officials agreed to provide sexual harassment training to all officers in the department and to redo shift schedules so that Cameron would never supervise Williams.

In her August 2011 complaint, Williams reported that Cameron had sexually harassed her for years, telling her to wear short skirts to get ahead in the department, talking about her chest and stating that every officer in the department “could do body shots off her.”

After she complained, she was given a written reprimand for using federally mandated family leave time to care for her infant son when he was sick.

In a settlement with Williams, UO agreed to rescind the reprimand, give her a new performance evaluation written by someone other than Cameron and prevent him from supervising her. Cameron and Williams still work for the department.

The UO also paid her attorney $2,000 for representing her and gave her five reserved box seats to the 2011 Civil War football game against Oregon State University.

Another sexual harassment and retaliation complaint against Cameron and former UO Police Lieutenant Casey Boyd , filed by a woman officer who was let go in 2010 after a year on the job, was dismissed — in part because Cameron and Boyd were widely seen as unfair and retaliatory toward lots of employees, so their firing of Parker wasn’t necessarily because she is female.

Numerous employees told civil rights investigator Helen Russon that Cameron made sexually inappropriate comments in their presence, but none indicated it happen regularly, Russon wrote. “In addition, neither Sgt. Cameron nor Lt. Boyd appear to enjoy reputations of fairness and egalitarianism among their employees, and this seems true regardless of gender.”

McDermed’s direct report is to VPFA Jamie Moffitt. How is it that she let McDermed keep her job this long?

10/26/2015: Chief McDermed’s potential replacement on campus Wednesday

This is for the 2nd in command at the UOPD. The first search, in April, brought 3 finalists to campus, and came up with nothing: http://police.uoregon.edu/content/uopd-evaluates-assistant-chief-candidates.

This search committee consisted of:

Sandy Weintraub, Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards, Office of the Dean of Students
Jen Crowder, Assistant Director of Residence Life, University Housing
Lee Thoming, retired Detective Sergeant (UOPD and EPD)
Deb Pack, Manager-Administrative Services, UOPD
Kelly McIver, Communications Director and Public Information Officer, UOPD

Announcement:

From: Kelly McIver [mailto:Kelly.McIver@uopd.org]
Sent: Monday, October 26, 2015 9:10 AM
Subject: Invitation to UOPD Asst. Chief Candidate Presentation Oct. 28

Campus Partners,

The University of Oregon Police Department will have a candidate for Assistant Chief of Police visiting campus on Wednesday, October 28, 2015.

The candidate, Lt. Chou Her of the University of California, Merced, Police Department, will make a presentation to any interested campus community members, and take questions, from 3:30-4:15 p.m. in Room 402 of the Ford Alumni Center.

Please consider attending if you are able, and share this opportunity with any interested colleagues.

More information, including a link to provide feedback on the candidate, can be found here:

http://police.uoregon.edu/content/uopd-welcomes-assistant-chief-candidate

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Kelly McIver
Communications Director & Public Information Officer
University of Oregon Police Department
kmciver@uoregon.edu

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12 Responses to UC-Merced’s Chou Her declines job as UOPD Chief in waiting

  1. No classified employee on search committee? says:

    Seriously, how many millions of dollars does the University need to lose on mishandled union matters before a classified employee gets to serve on a search committee?

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    • uomatters says:

      I’m no economist, but apparently $4M is not enough millions.

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      Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  2. Qualifications says:

    I’d be curious to know what qualifications Deb Pack or Kelly McIver have in selecting their potential new boss and why does UOPD have 3 of the 5 slots without a single classified employee? Why would you want an administrative manger and a public information officer making this big of a decision? I wonder if either has any actual police experience. You would think one of their veteran police officers would be on that committee and another position given perhaps to a student or other classified employee. It is clear Chou Her is far more qualified for the position than Caroline McDermid and has a cooler name. And I suspect we won;t be seeing Chou Her put up with antics like the bowl of dicks list.

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    • No classified employee on the search committee. says:

      You mean none in 5 out of 5 slots, which was the University reminding classified employees to sweep the floor and mind their business. Too bad, SEIU could have made sure they edited out any dick jokes from the interview questions.

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      • uomatters says:

        Comment of the week. Contact our swag office for your coffee cup.

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        Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  3. SaveUofO says:

    What is the story on the first job announcement for this assistant chief opening? I have heard a lot of rumors and it looks like UofO is scraping the bottom of the barrel to put someone in this position to cover when the current UOPD chief leaves which I think is inevitable. But don’t rush to hire someone just to fill a spot. The talk about how important interacting with the community is good but we all know this is the standard line all candidates give.

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  4. double speak says:

    During the fed case, UO said in their opening statement that community policing was an unrealistic pipe dream.

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  5. former student says:

    Maybe give the position bowl of dicks whistle-blower guy. I hear he has a law degree.

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  6. out of your mind says:

    Yeah. Great idea. Give the job to a guy who added the name bowl of dicks to a list he participated in after he was caught lying. Post his transcripts and compare it to his lawsuit. You won’t have to look too hard to find the guy who called Occupy “District 9” and said he added the Republicans to the list. I guess that means he told all Republicans to eat a bowl of dicks.
    Has he been removed from the “Brady List?”

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  7. BIg Daddy says:

    [UOM: Sorry Big, but I’ve redacted names and pronouns on the grounds that you apparently don’t even work here anymore, and so shouldn’t be afraid to give your own name, or alternatively present some evidence for your statements.]

    Withdrawing was a smart move on his part. As a former supervisor there, I can’t even begin to tell you how dis-functional that place is. 🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢 was completely unqualified, but ANYONE has got to be better than 🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢. 🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢 incompetent, scatter-brained, and vindictive. After 🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢 30 year career, 🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢 flunk out of field training on any real agency. 🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢 currently under investigation, and 🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢 most likely won’t be around come contract renewal time. Now, if they can get rid of 🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢 in-house flunkies (🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢, 🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢, 🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢, 🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢🁢, etc..) they might actually be able to function as a bona fide police department. But I doubt it.

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    • Frank Sorrentino says:

      Oh, sorry for that. Didn’t know names were required, and didn’t know if they would be visible to others. You have to be cautious in regards to the chief, because if prospective employers call the uopd, she’ll intentionally stick it to you. I’ll include it this time. I was a 23 year career sergeant they brought in from a large, out of state agency to help build the uopd. After being there a month, I saw how out of control things were. All the “evidence” I have is just my first hand knowledge… Things I’ve seen, heard, and been asked to do. So, from a moral and ethical standpoint, I decided that it would simply be better to leave and live off my pension than to stay and tolerate the shenanigans. So, I bailed last summer. Holler if you have any questions. I think there’s a few people we might know in common that should you ask, could vouch for my statements.

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      • uomatters says:

        Thanks, Sergeant Sorrentino.

        Readers, Sorrentino is very credible and seems like just the sort of cop UO needs. Too bad he left. Check out the UOM report from last March, on a free-speech incident at UO, with video from UO student Thomas Tullis: http://uomatters.com/2015/03/anti-abortion-speaker-schools-uopd-officer-on-the-1st-amendment.html Quoting from the excellent Emerald report by Alex Cremer, Eder Campuzano and Gordon Friedman, here: http://www.dailyemerald.com/2015/03/12/abortion-debate-uo/

        UOPD officer John Loos responded to the scene before the students attempted to destroy the poster, incorrectly citing ASUO policy as university policy and saying that the activist had to stop the “Hitler stuff,” otherwise he would be asked to leave the property. “I don’t see where you’re showing how I’m actually violating the law,” the activist said as Loos asked him to put away the poster. “There would be no need to protect freedom of speech if everybody agreed.” Loos said that the activist wouldn’t be arrested. He just had to put the sign away or leave. “You are breaking the rules of this institution. You are not breaking any laws in my opinion,” Loos said. “This is a privately owned institution, even though it’s a public school. If it’s considered to be demeaning or anything like that, it’s not allowed.”

        Then Sergeant Sorrentino showed up. He knew what he was talking about, explained the First Amendment to responding officer Loos, and perhaps saved the UOPD from another First Amendment lawsuit to add to the Bowl of Dicks fiasco:

        After a moment, the responding sergeant, Frank Sorrentino, showed up and corrected Loos. The two UOPD officials discussed the graphic for a moment and concluded that the activist could stay. “If you’re cool with it, I’m cool with it and we can let this gentleman do his thing,” Loos said. Sorrentino agreed and said that he was okay with the activist’s demonstration as long as there was no physical violence.

        And shortly afterward he decided he’d had enough of Chief Carolyn McDermed and he left the UOPD.

        So Sergeant Sorrentino – is there any chance we can persuade you to apply for the job replacing McDermed, which presumably will open up as soon as UO’s attorneys stop trying to void the jury verdict in the Cleavenger case and admit she’s been a disaster?

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