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

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U of Cincinnati to pay $4.85M for alleged murder by armed campus cop

1/19/2016: The NY Times has the report here:

The University of Cincinnati has agreed to pay $4.85 million to the family of an unarmed black man who was shot to death in July by one of its police officers, a settlement that also requires the college to provide an undergraduate education to his 12 children, create a memorial to him on campus and include his family in discussions on police reform.

… Mr. DuBose, 43, was shot and killed on July 19 by Officer Ray Tensing, who pulled him over in a Cincinnati neighborhood adjacent to the campus because his car lacked a front license plate. The shooting was captured on a body camera, and Officer Tensing, who was fired from the department, faces trial on a charge of murder.

Here at UO, there’s still no formal announcement of when UOPD Chief McDermed will be replaced by new Assistant Chief of Police Chou Her. Presumably UO is delaying the announcement so as not to damage its efforts to convince the judge in the Bowl of Dicks trial to cancel the jury’s $755K award to former UOPD officer James Cleavenger. That hearing is Feb 12th.

The federal jury agreed that McDermed and other UOPD officers had violated the First Amendment by retaliating against Cleavenger for his opposition to arming the UOPD with Tazers. On which note the NYT adds:

Mr. DuBose is not the first black man to die as a result of an encounter with the University of Cincinnati police, and he will not be the first to have a memorial on campus. Kelly Brinson, 45, a psychiatric patient, and Everette Howard, 18, a student, died in 2010 and 2011 after campus officers fired stun guns at them, according to lawsuits filed by their families.

Of course campus police can be victims of shootings as well as perpetrators. It’s not clear if armed police are safer, even for themselves. One particularly sad story comes from the University of Central Florida, where a university cop was shot and killed by another officer, who was trying to control drinking at football game tailgate parties.

The green-shirted man with the gun is an undercover UCF police officer, pointing his pistol at a drunk UCF student. The student apparently grabbed the gun, it went off, and a uniformed police officer who hadn’t been told of the operation then shot and killed the undercover officer.

What happened to Richard Turkiewicz, the UCF police chief who set up this botched operation? Frances Dyke, former UO VPFA, hired him as UO’s interim Director of Public Safety. No kidding. Dyke then went on to persuade the Oregon legislature to allow UO to set up its own armed police force.

What sort of oversight does UO have for its police?

7/29/2015: Prosecutor and Trustee says university police force should be disbanded

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