Public Safety

Dear OWU Community Members,

The Department of Public Safety hears you, and we are committed to improving ourselves and standing up against racism. We have a passion for keeping everyone safe, and we recognize this means more than protecting you physically; we will be part of the greater movement of creating an environment where our community can live without fear of being targeted or discriminated against. 

The death of George Floyd, and how that has impacted the Black community, has challenged us personally to look at systemic issues and both explicit and implicit forms of bias. As the Director of Public Safety, it is my responsibility to identify where we can improve, and therein lies the challenge. Implicit bias is often synonymous with unconscious bias, and part of our work will be uncovering what is hidden to ourselves. For those OWU community members willing to help, your input will be welcome as we improve.

One thing we have learned already is that many members of our community are tired of talking and want to see action. Here is what we are doing immediately:

  • Establishing connections with Black, African American, Latinx, and other marginalized students to hear directly your concerns and examples of bias you have experienced.
  • Engaging an outside organization to provide diversity awareness training for the entire Department of Public Safety – we are researching partners currently.
  • Reviewing policies and practices for implicit bias and correcting them as they are found.
  • Changing how we recruit and select new Public Safety officers to increase the diversity of our candidates.
  • Utilizing Lean Six Sigma methodology to scientifically review our data to 1) determine whether we are collecting the right data to spot bias and 2) uncover implicit bias where it may be present and blind to us.

We affirm our commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusiveness. Our promise to you is that our actions will reflect those values.


Sean Bolender
Director, Department of Public Safety

June 15, 2020