The News Service
Mark Porter Named Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety
Mark J. Porter, currently director of public safety at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, will become Brown University’s chief of police and director of the Department of Public Safety. Porter will begin his duties in April 2005.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Mark J. Porter, a 24-year veteran of campus law enforcement, will become chief of police and director of the Department of Public Safety at Brown University, according to an announcement today by Elizabeth Huidekoper, executive vice president for finance and administration. Porter comes to Brown from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where he has served as director of public safety for the last nine years. He will begin his work at Brown in April 2005.
“Chief Porter is an experienced law enforcement officer and public safety administrator who has a strong record of success in the university setting,” said Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons. “He will provide excellent leadership and strategic direction to our Department of Public Safety at a very important time in the department’s history. I look forward to welcoming him as a member of the Brown campus community.”
Porter is a 1984 graduate of the Municipal Police Academy in Massachusetts. He served for 12 years in the Public Safety Division of Northeastern University, rising through the ranks of patrol officer, police sergeant and police lieutenant/operations commander. He left Northeastern in 1996 to become chief of police at UMass–Dartmouth.
In his years at UMass–Dartmouth, Porter has received high praise for professionalizing the Department of Public Safety, particularly for his success at implementing an effective, student-centered community policing model. He has received commendations for heroism and accolades for the care and skill with which he implemented the UMass–Dartmouth’s decision to arm its campus police officers.
In December 2003, Brown University announced its decision to move toward a Department of Public Safety that will include armed campus police officers. Implementation of the decision to arm would occur only after extensive training and testing of officers, development of new policies on use of force, and creation of new structures for oversight and review, the University said. That training and development process is well under way.
At Brown, Porter will have overall responsibility for promoting a safe and secure educational, living, and work environment for a diverse population of more than 10,000 students, staff, faculty and guests. He will lead a staff of more than 80 employees that includes 33 sworn police officers, 18 security officers, nine communications officers and 13 administrative and support staff and seven building guards. The director of public safety reports to Walter Hunter, vice president of administration.
Brown’s Department of Public Safety has been fully accredited by CALEA, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., since July 1998. The department was the third law enforcement agency in Rhode Island to achieve national accreditation from CALEA.
Porter’s appointment follows a national search conducted by a selection committee of senior administrators, faculty, students and staff. The committee included Brenda Allen, associate provost and director of Institutional Diversity; Patrice Carroll, associate director of the Office of Research Administration; Dany Chan, a graduate student: David Greene, vice president for campus life and student services; Sonia Gupta, an undergraduate student; Peter Heywood, professor of biology; Elizabeth Huidekoper, executive vice president for finance and administration: Walter Hunter, vice president of administration (chair); Beverly Ledbetter, vice president and general counsel; Col. Steven Pare, superintendent of Rhode Island State Police; and Ari Savitsky, an undergraduate student.
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