/ Modified apr 11, 2023 2:26 p.m.

UA announces organizational structure change in police department

The announcement comes shortly after the university announced the creation of the new "Chief Safety Officer" role.

Police investigating a shooting at the University of Arizona
Samantha Larned/Arizona Public Media

University of Arizona President Dr. Robert Robbins announced Monday afternoon that the University of Arizona Police Department has changed its reporting structure. UAPD will now fall under the purview of the new interim Chief Safety Officer Steve Patterson–a change from Senior Vice President of Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer Lisa Rulney.

Robbins says the move will “elevate campus safety operations to report directly” to him in hopes of “better coordinate and streamline [campus] safety measures.”

"As we implement the recommendations of the PAX Group report and take other steps focused on safety and security, I plan to hold biweekly briefings to provide updates on our progress," Robbins said. "Additionally, we will create a website where you will be able to track implementation of each recommendation."

In his announcement to the community, Robbins shared that the university will conduct a national search for a permanent Chief Safety Officer, while Patterson serves in an interim role. In an interview with AZPM, Patterson said his role, in part, will be to implement the PAX Group's recommendations.

Listen to The Buzz episode about the PAX Group report and Patterson's new role.

Robbins announced the creation of the Chief Safety Officer position two weeks ago when he released the results of an external analysis into UA's response to the on-campus shooting death of Dr. Thomas Meixner. The role was created in direct response to concerns that were outlined in both an internal and external security report that called for UA to create a more comprehensive threat assessment management system.

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