The final three candidates for the next Chief of Police at the University of Kansas gave presentations last week on their thoughts about police reform on college campuses.
The candidates were chosen by a ten-member search committee led by Vice Provost for Operations Callie Long. The committee included representatives from the university’s public safety office and Student Senate, among others.
The candidates included Terence Calloway, the Chief of Police at Florida A&M University, Nelson Mosley, who is the Police Chief in Rose Hill and was an Interim Police Chief in Wichita, and Rodney Chatman, who served as the Chief of Police at the University of Utah.
Calloway was the first to present in front of the campus community last Wednesday. He talked at length about the need for transparency within KU’s public safety office, as well as the need for a better relationship between campus police and the campus community as a whole.
“That means getting out of the car, establishing borders with these students, faculty and staff, going through cafeterias, eating lunch with them, going to different kinds of programs that they’re in but also inviting them to your program and undergoing collaborative efforts to make sure that we’re on the same page,” Calloway said.
Calloway also said he wanted to conduct a survey of the KU community a year into the position to see if the community felt the department was making the changes the community wanted to see.
Mosley was next to give his presentation a day later, talking about the need for reform in his presentation.
“I think us police chiefs know that based on what’s going on nationwide, there is a time and need for reform and that’s right now,” Mosley said.
Mosley pointed to KU’s recent announcement that it would implement all twelve recommendations from the task force focused on reviewing the public safety office’s policies and procedures as an example of reform he supported.
“I agree with everything that’s in there,” Mosley said.
Chatman was the final candidate to give his presentation to the campus community. In his presentation, he spoke about community engagement and addressed a situation at his last position where he was placed on leave by the University of Utah.
Last December, Chatman was placed on leave by Marlon Lynch, the chief safety officer at the university, according to a statement made by Lynch that was reported in the Daily Utah Chronicle, the campus newspaper at the university. The decision allegedly stemmed from reports that Chatman did not have the correct certification for his position.
“Prior to placing Rodney on leave earlier this week, I was made aware of an investigation by the Utah State Attorney General’s Office into allegations Rodney may have violated certain guidelines that are also criminal offenses, which could also adversely impact his Utah POST certification,” Lynch said. “This is a serious matter and I have expressed the university’s intent to cooperate fully in the AG’s investigation.”
Chatman refuted the claims in his interview in front of the KU community last Friday and tied the complaint against him to a similar investigation.
Before Chatman’s hiring at the University of Utah, the Salt Lake Tribune reported an officer at the university had downloaded and shown explicit photos of a woman, who reported she was being extorted over the photos she had taken of herself, to other co-workers and the officer bragged about being able to look at them whenever he wanted. The woman in the photos was later murdered by the man who was blackmailing her, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
During Chatman’s tenure, the university released an investigative report into the incident.
“It is inexcusable for any law enforcement officer to discuss photos or information provided by a victim outside of clear and legitimate law enforcement reasons,” Chatman said in response to the report’s findings. “I am deeply disturbed by this finding and disappointed in the officers who were present and who did not report this incident through appropriate university channels.”
As a result of the report, Chatman fired three additional officers, on top of the one who had previously been terminated.
“At the completion of the report, I found that three officers needed to be terminated,” Chatman said in his presentation at KU. “I lost trust in their ability to perform policing services in a manner that meets community expectations.”
Chatman went on to allege those three former officers were behind the university’s decision to place him on leave. An attorney who represented Chatman said at the time that Chatman was being pushed out in retaliation for his decision to release the investigative report publicly.
“The very next day their attorney filed a complaint against me and said that I was not certified at the time and therefore didn’t have the requisite powers to terminate them,” he said.
Chatman spoke about the need for reform and accountability at KU, saying he would implement a system where supervisors would monitor officer’s interactions with the public and give monthly reviews to officers.
Members of the KU campus community are encouraged by the task force to provide feedback on the candidates on the search committee’s webpage.