After many months of interviews and deliberations, the search committee for the new director of Campus Safety and Security has chosen Dave Boyer, who has served as interim director since July, to fill the position. Record Executive Editor Tyler Holden sat down with Boyer to discuss his expectations and goals for one of the campus’ most visible departments.
Why did you want to be director of Security?
Actually, when I came here in 1989, I had to be convinced. Rosemary Moore, who worked at the College in Human Resources, thought it was the right time for me – that I might have the right skills and that it might be a job I could do and enjoy and flourish in. So I came in and I met some people before there was an actual interview or an opening. I learned a lot about the department and more about the College and kind of made a plan in my head. Once I did become an officer, I thought about the age of everyone – when they may retire – and planned out what may need to happen to someday become the director. It was a thoughtful plan that came to fruition just recently. This position allows me to work with and for people I tremendously respect and to help people everyday through my work and the work of the entire CSS team.
How do you expect your role will change from your previous positions at the College?
I do view my role changing in that I’ll be doing a lot of outreach. I’ll be working with a lot of resources away from the College, hopefully strengthening the relationship with local emergency responders. An expertise in emergency planning will benefit me and the College, and it will help us regionally as well. My role was more running the day-to-day operation of the department, and I’ll have less of those responsibilities in order to do more emergency planning and longer-range planning.
What are your main goals going forward for Security? What major changes do you have in mind?
How we approach things I don’t think will change dramatically. I do see us becoming a much more visible part of the campus, being involved wherever we can and being even more of an educational component here. Currently we teach the [Rape Aggression Defense] program and some crime prevention, but I think we want to do a lot more in the way of teaching class and instruction on emergency planning and response. I also could see something along the lines of teaching a Winter Study course someday. course someday.
Have any of these plans been fully explored yet or do they remain in the developmental stages?
Everything is hypothetical, developmental at this point. We’re still organizing and defining roles here within the department and the supervisory staff. That will take time. One of the things we will definitely pursue is national accreditation of the department, and that will take a lot of work on policy, procedure, training and paperwork. All of our standards will have to be at a national level in order to get that accreditation … We have never had national accreditation here, but it’s a goal I want to achieve. In terms of liability, in terms of selling the College to students – maybe not even prospective students so much as their parents – to see that this is a safe school and a professional department that has national standing would help.
What sort of changes would your department need to make in order to achieve national accreditation?
A lot of what we do [now] isn’t necessarily documented. To reach that level of accreditation, every policy and procedure has to be defined and bullet-pointed. How we would respond to a car accident on campus would probably be a four- to five-page document with all the policies and procedures. Everything would have to be spelled out. Now it’s probably done verbally through training, and everyone has an understanding of what the expectations are. [Gaining accreditation] would mean the complete documentation of the process. It would actually help us in terms of training employees to have everything written out and documented.
What are you most excited about in this new position? Is there anything you are nervous about?
I’m not generally a nervous type, so I’m not really nervous about anything per se. What I’m excited about is reinventing the department, refocusing it. I also am excited about the staff here. Williams has never had as qualified a Campus Safety and Security department, I don’t think, ever in its existence. While I don’t have a clear vision right now of where we will be or what we will be, I think the process will be exciting … to create and mold a new modern security department. We’ve got a lot of new administrators at the College. We are looking at things with fresh eyes. Not necessarily saying that what we’ve always done is wrong, but that the Williams way has changed. It needs to in some aspects. The students have changed, the area is changing, and we need to look at all of those aspects and tailor what we do to the new Williams.