UC Selects Exiger to Conduct Comprehensive Review of UC Police

The University of Cincinnati has completed its search for an external team to conduct a comprehensive review of the UC Police Department (UCPD) including all policies, procedures, practices, and training. The university has selected Exiger - a nationally renowned integrity assurance firm with decades of experience in independent monitoring in the criminal justice sector.

UC President Santa J. Ono called for an exhaustive review of UCPD following the July 19, 2015 officer-involved shooting of Samuel DuBose. Vice President for Safety and Reform Robin Engel will oversee this review, in consultation with the University of Cincinnati Community Advisory Council (CAC), chaired by the Honorable Judge John West, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.

"The facts learned from this comprehensive review will guide us in taking the necessary steps to create a safer campus for our diverse community,” said President Ono. “We are committed to excellence and addressing needed changes that foster innovation and equitable policing for our students, faculty and staff and the community."

Exiger’s proposal was selected after a comprehensive review, spearheaded by a selection committee, which included members of the Cincinnati community, and on-campus public interviews of the top two finalists.

"I am very excited about this review and the potential for significant change in staffing, policing, and leadership for the UCPD,” said Honorable Judge John West of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.

“The Office of Safety and Reform is committed to implementing meaningful transformation of the UCPD,” said Robin Engel. “Exiger’s breadth of knowledge in campus and urban policing and experience handling some of the most complex and high-profile oversight cases in the country clearly showed they were the right team to lead the comprehensive review of UCPD.”

Exiger will deploy a diverse 12-member team of policing experts led by Jeff Schlanger, managing director and president of Exiger’s Advisory Group and former deputy primary monitor for the Los Angeles Police Department consent decree, along with Charles Ramsey, former Philadelphia police commissioner, and co-chair of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

The Exiger team will

  • Conduct a detailed audit to provide a full understanding of the challenges that face UCPD.
  • Develop a strategic and tactical approach to remediate identified issues.
  • Recommend new or enhanced policies and procedures.
  • Provide a road map to implement proposed changes and best practices to insure sustainability over time.

“The UC Police Department welcomes this comprehensive review,” said James Whalen, director of public safety. “UCPD has been serving members of the UC community for many years. We will work with Exiger to develop a plan that can be sustained long-term, help us rebuild trust with members of the community and best position UCPD to become a national model for urban campus policing.”

As identified by the University’s Request for Proposal (RFP), Exiger’s review will focus on seven key areas:

  1. UCPD Policies and Procedures
  2. UCPD Data Collection Systems, Data Usage, Automation and Records Management
  3. Training
  4. Accountability Mechanisms
  5. Officer Recruitment, Hiring, Promotion and Retention
  6. Equipment and Technology
  7. Specific Substantive Areas (e.g., traffic stops, use of force, community engagement, and problem solving)

Throughout the review and audit process, Exiger will compare and contrast UCPD policies, procedures and practices to industry standards in both municipal and campus law enforcement. In addition to the collection and review of data and information, Exiger will meet and gather information from UC students, faculty, staff, and administrators, UCPD , Cincinnati Police Officers, CAC Members, and community residents.

Exiger is in the process of collecting data and information in preparation for a site visit to UC later this month. An interim report is slated to be submitted in April with a final report submission deadline of June 1.

The 12-member Exiger team includes

  • Jeff Schlanger, managing director and president of Exiger’s Advisory Group and former deputy primary monitor for the Los Angeles Police Department consent decree
  • Charles Ramsey, former Philadelphia police commissioner and co-chair of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
  • John Thomas, chief, University of Southern California Office of Public Safety
  • Beth Corriea, attorney and risk management consultant to police departments including LAPD
  • Sandy Jo MacArthur, 35-year veteran of LAPD, oversaw consent decree requirements
  • Mark Porter, 30 years of experience in higher education law enforcement management, executive director of public safety and chief of police for Brown University
  • Nola M. Joyce, 25 years of public-sector experience, current deputy commissioner for Philadelphia's police department
  • Maggie Goodrich, chief information officer for LAPD, manages IT bureau operations
  • Roberto A. Villaseñor, nationally recognized as innovative leader and progressive administrator, retired chief of police, Tucson's police department
  • Patrick Harnett, spent 32 years with New York City's police department, provides public-safety consultation services to agencies across the United States
  • James McShane, 24-year veteran of NYPD, vice president of public safety for Columbia University
  • Joan Brody, skilled project manager with experience in federal investigations and consent decrees

The selection of Exiger to conduct a top-to-bottom review of UCPD is the latest action by the university as part of its reform efforts. A $5.3 million settlement with the DuBose family was announced last month. The Community Advisory Council, which played an integral part in the development of the RFP for this review and the selection process, began meeting in October. That same month all UC police officers received fair and impartial policing training. In August, UC assembled a team of experts to lead safety and reform efforts. Also in August, UC Police implemented an Early Warning System, which is used to flag patterns of officer behavior, such as use of force, for review. Contact cards have also been implemented to track the gender and race of individuals involved in all pedestrian and traffic stops conducted by UCPD, and direct field supervision has been added.

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