Police chief candidates to attend open forums

Alison Herrmann

"George Hughes Chief of Police, California Polytechnic State University"
George Hughes
Chief of Police, California Polytechnic State University

"Cynthia Estrup Police Sergeant, UW-Green Bay"
Cynthia Estrup
Police Sergeant, UW-Green Bay

"Kurt Leibold Assistant Chief of Police, City of Milwaukee Police Department"
Kurt Leibold
Assistant Chief of Police, City of Milwaukee Police Department

Donovan Heavener Sergeant, UW Oshkosh
Donovan Heavener
Sergeant, UW Oshkosh

Christopher Tarmann
Christopher Tarmann Interim Police Chief, UW Oshkosh

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will hold open forums over the next two weeks to find a new University chief of police. UWO students received an email Tuesday from the search and screen committee inviting them to attend the open forum for the finalists. Assistant Vice Chancellor Jamie Ceman said it is important for students to attend the open forums because it allows the students of UWO to be included in the decision. “I think it’s important for the students to have a voice in what it is they want in a police chief,” Ceman said. “It’s such a critical role, obviously, for the campus. With safety being our top priority, students should really be engaged in what that means for you as a student.” Oshkosh Student Association President Jordan Schettle said he agrees being a part of the decision is essential. “This is a major, major position that affects every single aspect of our campus community,” Schettle said. Ceman said because it is an open forum, anyone in the public can attend, but students are the preferred target audience. “The general public can attend,” Ceman said. “I think they are targeting at the campus population, but an open forum is open. Anything on campus is really open.” Christopher Tarmann, UWO interim police chief and one of the candidates, said following the open forum, students will have the opportunity to give feedback. “You get to fill out a sheet on that candidate and what their strengths are and where you think they would fill in with the current flow,” Tarmann said. “It’s really good that student’s come.” Ceman said the search and screen committee uses the open forum feedback in the hiring process. “The search and screen committee takes [the feedback forms] into consideration as they are making their decision on who the finalists are to recommend,” Ceman said. Tarmann said safety is a major part of the University Police Department. “That’s the No. 1 thing we need to focus on,” Tarmann said. “I talk about this quite a bit, but any decision that’s made through our police department needs to be focused around that word. We always have the safety of students in mind.” Schettle said one quality he thinks is important for a police chief is to be able to constantly adapt. “We have new concerns that come to our campus every single week,” Schettle said. “We just can’t keep up with the new technology that’s out there, to new forms of threats that could be present. So I want someone who can adapt to new situations when presented to them, and their ability to at least show their experience with those types of situations where they can handle themselves professionally as well as safely for all students.”