Campus policing isn't just about public safety, said Stephen Davis, a candidate for UND's open police chief position -- it also requires an awareness of social issues, mental health issues, budgetary impacts, student retention, public health, the economic burden on students and more.

Davis is one of four finalists for UND's chief of police and associate vice president of public safety, and he discussed his background and goals at a campus forum on Monday, July 26.

Since the beginning of the application process, Davis said he has heard repeatedly that UND is looking for a police chief who can emphasize collaboration and building connections between the department and the community, something he said resonated with him.

"The job deals with risk management, it deals with emergency management, it deals with safety, it deals with environmental issues -- a wide range," Davis said, answering an audience question about his interest in UND. "And I think I bring each one of those components when you're at university. I have experience in all those aspects."

Among his goals for UNDPD if he were named police chief would be to prioritize, among other things, more social justice-oriented events, and to introduce a diversity, equity and inclusion task force with a strong emergency management aspect.

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"Do we have a pre-plan? Are we addressing these issues prior to them happening once we hear about them in the new cycles?" he said. "I will work through conflicts by addressing intergroup issues and developing ways of identifying our experiences, instead of our differences."

Davis also highlighted his study of public health and COVID-19 mitigation strategies in campus security capacity in his current role. He also expressed an intent to increase and improve campus police training, and increase cameras and security systems around campus.

He also described a QR checkpoint program he currently uses that he would bring to UND which would allow officers to send real-time data about incidents to a central system using QR codes located around campus. The system would also streamline emergency communications and alerts across campus, if necessary.

Davis repeatedly emphasized his interest in a data-driven approach to policing, and advocated for the creation of a Safety, Security and Emergency Management Council in order to parse the university's readiness for an emergency and areas of improvement.

"I need that information so I can gauge how we're doing, performance-wise," he said.

Davis is the current director of campus security and emergency management at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. Previously he worked as the director of campus security and emergency management at Olympic College in Bremerton, Wash., where he created and implemented field training for security staff and was responsible for Clery Act reporting.