Public Safety Review Board
April 22, 2019
Recommendation to President Feldman
The Public Safety Review Board (PSRB) has had two very productive discussions of the Public Safety Proposal Advisory Committee (PSPAC) report at its meetings on April 3 and 9.
We had the opportunity in those meetings to pose questions to the co-chairs of PSPAC and Chief Mark Fischer. We appreciate the opportunity to consider the important issues involved in the DPS proposal and to give you our recommendation for action, which is as follows:
We recommend approving the DPS proposal to allow armed supervisors to have unrestricted campus access.
We recommend approving the DPS proposal to add three armed patrols on the River Campus and at Eastman, but recommend further that implementation of this part of the proposal be delayed by some period of time—perhaps six months—to allow for development of an implementation plan. The focus of such a plan would be to facilitate the building of better relationships with, and trust of, DPS than may currently exist.
We also think it is important that interested members of the campus community—faculty, staff, and students alike—be given the opportunity to give input into that plan and so would hope that we can discuss productive ways to accomplish that.
Several suggestions appearing at pp. 29 and following in the PSPAC report could be part of a successful implementation. Additional suggestions made at our meeting include:
- Inviting students, staff, and faculty to attend actual DPS training sessions;
- Inviting DPS officers to attend meetings of student clubs and organizations or events with faculty and staff;
- Add student “officers” to DPS, who might provide such functions as providing walking escorts at night, locking down buildings and/or making rounds to check for safety;
- Schedule more “coffee with DPS” and similar events to give interested persons a chance to meet officers and ask questions in an informal setting;
- Create a method by which complaints about DPS can be submitted directly to PSRB.
Such steps can be taken in anticipation of and in parallel to adoption of the DPS proposal; they need not be mutually exclusive.
No University employee should be asked to perform a job without the tools to do it safely. We should not treat DPS officers any differently, nor put one group’s feelings of safety above another’s. We know that some among us fear the potential consequences of further arming, but to make a recommendation in spite of those views is not to ignore them.
The reality is that in a community as diverse as ours, there will never be full consensus on the right thing to do. We must try maximize both the physical and perceptions of safety of all members of the University and surrounding community. We believe our recommendation is the best way to achieve that.
December 19, 2018
A Message to the University Community: Public Safety Proposal Advisory Committee Established
— President Richard Feldman, Professor of Philosophy
— Holly Crawford, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and CFO
— Trustee Francis Price, PSRB Chair
In our efforts to thoroughly review, consider, and research the proposal to arm additional Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers on River Campus and at the Eastman School of Music, we have established an ad hoc advisory committee: the Public Safety Proposal Advisory Committee. The committee is drawn from units across the University and includes students, faculty and staff who have volunteered their time to review relevant information and best available data, and gather community sentiment about the proposal. The committee also includes a community representative from outside of the University’s campuses.
The Public Safety Proposal Advisory Committee has been asked to present its findings to the Public Safety Review Board (PSRB) and to us about the viability and appropriateness of the DPS proposal by March 27. The current proposal recommends adding one armed officer in a vehicle on River Campus, one armed officer in a vehicle on University properties west of the Genesee River, and one armed officer on foot patrol on the Eastman School of Music campus. It also recommends allowing armed DPS supervisors unrestricted access to all campuses.
The committee is co-chaired by William FitzPatrick, professor of philosophy, and Jamal Holtz ’20, a political science major and Students’ Association vice president. It will have the option of submitting more than one report, should there not be a clear consensus among committee members. Additionally, the group is not limited to simply endorsing or rejecting the current proposal; there is the option of suggesting alternative ways to address the concerns that led to it. The PSRB will then use the committee’s input to deliberate and make its final recommendation to President Feldman before the end of the spring semester.
Public Safety Proposal Advisory Committee members are:
- William FitzPatrick (Co-Chair) – faculty, AS&E
- Jamal Holtz ’20 (Co-Chair) – undergraduate, College; vice president, Students’ Association
- Daryl Bagley – graduate student, AS&E
- Mark Ballister – staff, University IT
- Steve Bondi – faculty, URMC
- Wendell Broadhurst – union staff, University Facilities & Services
- Norm Burnett – staff, Office of Minority Student Affairs
- Catherine Cerulli – faculty, URMC; director, Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership
- Emily Clasper – staff, University Libraries
- Lydia Crews – staff, Wilson Commons Student Activities; assistant director of cultural programs
- Yaa Cunningham ’20 – undergraduate, College; member, Student Senate
- Colleen O’Neil Davis – faculty, URMC
- Jonathan Dunsby – faculty, Eastman School of Music
- Tara Eagan ’20 – undergraduate, College; president, Minority Student Advisory Board
- Karen Ely – staff, Office for Residential Life & Housing Services
- Thomas Hilimire – postdoctoral associate, URMC
- Nathan Kadar – staff, Simon Business School
- Ela Kodzas ’21 – undergraduate, Eastman School of Music
- Grayson Lenhard ’21 – undergraduate, College
- Kathryn Mariner – faculty, AS&E
- Anna Mpinga – graduate student, Warner School of Education
- Kathryn Phillips – faculty, AS&E
- Scott Seidman – faculty, AS&E
- Reinhild Steingrover – faculty, Eastman School of Music
- Elaine Tennity – staff, Eastman School of Music
- Diane Watkins – community member
- Marla Wall – staff, Campus Dining Services & Auxiliary Operations
- Jonathan Wetherbee – staff, School of Nursing
- Amy Happ (staff to the committee) – staff, Office of Government and Community Relations
- Noreen Cherry (administrative assistance to the committee) – staff, Administration & Finance
As a reminder, the current proposal and FAQ are available on the DPS website.
About the Board
The Pubic Safety Review Board (PSRB) was established by former President Joel Seligman in October 2016. The board is chaired by University Trustee Francis Price and is comprised of the Students’ Association president, and faculty, staff and administrators from across the University who meet quarterly or on an as-needed basis to provide regular assessments of Department of Public Safety (DPS) policies and procedures, and to review any significant incidents involving DPS actions.
Messages and Updates
November 2, 2018
Message from Chair Francis Price on PSRB reviewing DPS proposal
May 15, 2018
Proposal from DPS: “Proposed Evolution of the Armed Peace Officer Program.” (Updated 12/10/2018)
October 13, 2016
Message from President Seligman on the Security Commission Report
September 7, 2016
Security Commission Report
Public Safety Review Board Chair
- University Trustee Francis L. Price ’74, ’75S (MBA)
Public Safety Review Board Members
The Board will permanently include:
- Holly Crawford, University Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and CFO
- Anthony Kinslow, University Associate Vice President for Human Resources
- Kathy Parrinello, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President, Strong Memorial Hospital
The Board will annually include:
- A member of the Faculty Senate, designated by the chair or co-chairs of the Faculty Senate
- Medical Center faculty member selected by the Executive Committee of the Medical Center Institute for Innovative Education
- Medical Center student, resident, or fellow selected by the Executive Committee of the Medical Center Institute for Innovative Education
- President or a delegate selected by the Students’ Association
The Board will be staffed by:
- Richard S. Crummins, Senior Counsel, Office of Counsel
- May 14, 2019
- April 3, 2019
- March 6, 2019
- February 6, 2019
- November 26, 2018
- October 2, 2018
- May 15, 2018
- March 18, 2018
- January 22, 2018
- October 10, 2017
- August 28, 2017
- May 16, 2017
- April 18, 2017
- March 29, 2017
- February 15, 2017
- January 17, 2017
- December 13, 2016
- November 18, 2016
Principles of Confidentiality and Transparency
The University of Rochester Public Safety Review Board (PSRB) was appointed by President Seligman to oversee implementation of his decision to provide certain University Peace Officers with firearms. The PSRB will review and evaluate plans for officer selection, training, policies, and equipment selection and management. The PSRB will also serve to review incidents of firearm use that may occur, complaints of bias against DPS officers, and other significant events.
As an advisory group, the PSRB’s proceedings and actions are not official acts of the University. The group makes recommendations to the President. Nonetheless, its activities and the subjects of its review are of paramount interest to the University community. The intent of this document is to formalize the PSRB’s policy and practice as it concerns the balance of confidentiality and transparency.
The PSRB’s evaluation of officer selection criteria, the content of training programs, and the frequency/type of reports of bias of DPS officers are suitable for public dissemination. These matters, and future review items (e.g. use of metal detectors or body cameras) are expected to be published to the University community as described further below.
By contrast, the details of specific incidents generally are not subject to public inspection, to the extent the information relates to the officers involved, but also students, faculty and staff or members of the surrounding community, and may be confidential by law or other University policy (e.g. FERPA information, personnel or medical records). The PSRB may, from time to time, report on these events in an aggregated and de-identified manner, or may choose to disclose certain facts about specific incidents, but as a whole, this type of information will be treated with greater levels of confidentiality overall.
Specific policies and guidelines of the Department of Public Safety, which may concern use or storage of weapons, and which may be reviewed by the PSRB, will also not generally be made public. DPS policies are not currently published, for safety reasons. Publication might allow those intending to do harm to evade crime prevention, detection and/or response.
In the case of disagreement among members of the PSRB on the confidentiality that attaches to a specific issue or incident, all agree to abide by the decision of the Chair.
The PSRB will meet monthly until it determines some other frequency of meetings is desirable.
As described below, information suitable for public dissemination will be published by agreement of the PSRB. Minutes of discussions will be prepared for each meeting and, once approved by the PSRB, will be published to the University community. The expectation is that the individual comments and discussion among PSRB members during meetings will not be discussed outside the PSRB.
Personally identifiable information (or information that, because of its context, could lead to the identification of individuals) will not be included in the minutes and should not be discussed outside the PSRB. The PSRB may, depending on the circumstances, decide to publicize some information regarding such matters, upon consultation with counsel and/or available resources with certifiable qualifications and expertise in matters under consideration.