DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — 2 NEWS obtained the first interview with UD’s new police chief.
Rodney Chatman has been on the job for about a week, and with St. Patrick’s Day and basketball celebrations on the horizon, he’s making campus safety a top priority.
From SWAT team, to school resource officer, Chief Chatman said it’s his variety of experience in law enforcement that has prepared him to watch over the UD campus.
“My philosophy of policing involves heavy community engagement,” said Chatman as he spoke about the importance of police-community relations. “I’m meeting with the student government executive board this Sunday. I’m participating in an open forum.”
Coming from the University of Cincinnati, Chatman said he held a citizens police academy before. Here, he’s going to be talking with students about their ideas.
“They should provide more cops around the campus to be safe all the time,” said junior Hamad Othman.
“I never have an issue with safety on campus. We’re locked up pretty tight in there,” stated sophomore Drew Smith.
“Our next door neighbors got broken into this year, but their door was unlocked,” said junior Kevin Claffy.
While keeping track of campus crimes, Chatman said his police force will also continue to use body cameras, especially when it comes to rowdy celebrations.
“That’s one of the things I believe strongly in,” said Chatman.
After parties got out of hand during St. Patrick’s Day and the basketball team’s NCAA run in the past, Chatman is already talking specifics, like partnering with Dayton and Oakwood police.
“I’m going to have to get acclimated to what my resources are, what the students here are asking for, and then putting ourselves together and seeing what makes sense,” stated Chatman.
Chief Bruce Burt retires in February after 14 years of service.