The search for Elon University’s new chief of campus security and police — which started almost a year ago — is nearing completion.
Freshman Britt Mobley listened to Joe LeMire, the final candidate in the search, present to students, faculty and staff via Zoom on Feb. 1. Mobley, a member of the Student Government Association at Elon, said he would like to see LeMire meet with historically marginalized student groups on campus before his potential hiring, to build relationships and community.
“If he wants to make those relationships, then he’s not just going to get the nice parts, he’s going to get all of it,” Mobley said. “Not just the fun, lovey dovey happy relationship with students, it's the actual pain and fear that students go through.”
Following protests throughout the country for racial justice and the university’s participation in the mutual aid agreement, students on campus have expressed hesitation toward policing at the university and in Alamance County.
John Robinson-Miller, assistant director of the center for race, ethnicity and diversity education, said he also hopes to see a plan for the new director’s interactions with Black students on campus.
“Me specifically, I am looking toward the Black community that’s my focus and my job,” Robinson-Miller said. “What kind of intentional outreach will they do? What is their general attitude toward engaging Black folks in general, not only students, but faculty, staff, community members, and understanding where Elon sits in the larger Alamance County.”
Mobley was one of several SGA members who sat in on LeMire’s presentation. Senior and SGA Executive Treasurer Andrew Ciampa said he chose to attend LeMire’s presentation because the new director of campus safety and police will impact many students, now and in the future.
“I wanted to see what this new police chief was all about and some of the ways that he anticipated helping the Elon community,” Ciampa said.
Ciampa said he appreciated that LeMire incorporated student feedback in his previous roles. LeMire is currently the police chief at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has previously served at a university level, as well as working as an officer in the Potawatomi Indian Community Tribal police department.
Director of Campus Technology Support Pat Donohue also attended LeMire’s presentation. Campus technology and support aids the police department with equipment such as security cameras on campus and body cameras on officers, but also with door access to dorm buildings and E-alerts. Donohue said campus technology hopes the candidate chosen will continue the relationship between the police department and technology support.
“Having IT involved with that is very appropriate nowadays,” Donohue said. “It takes a collective effort to keep everybody together at the table going forward, especially with everything going on nowadays, I think we're going to hear more and more about how technology is being used to help in keeping people safe obeying the law.”