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My Life

A Visit From Chief Chatman

By Alexandria Erin

He thought instagram was a breakfast cereal and has worked for many United States presidents; I give you Rodney Chatman Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police here at the University of Dayton.


Safety is a big deal here on the University of Dayton’s campus, especially for Chatman. Where people and parents see 11k students as potential victims, he sees us as campus safety advocates. With a team of 31 officers, Chatman’s biggest concern is not only student’s safety, but also our overall wellbeing.


By interacting with classes, students in the student neighborhood and providing many different types of classes on learning to further one’s safety, Chatman hopes to create a bond and good relationship between public safety and students and thus further the University’s goal of constantly building community.


As my Visual Journal (VAR 210) class digs deeper into who the University of Dayton was, is and will be this semester, we were honored with a visit from Chatman in which he proceeded to engage with us in a humorous, serious and informational manner.


A safety feature Chatman emphasized on were the blue phones placed around campus. Chatman further explained that these blue phones are not just for emergency, they are for everyday use if need be. For example if you cut your foot and need a ride to the nurses office, if you feel like someone is following you on campus, if you’re walking home at night and don’t want to walk alone, etc. they’re there for anyone and everyone.


Chatman talked to our class as if he had known each and every one of us personally. During this encounter we learned a few interesting facts about him; his biggest fear is “multiple students being hurt,” his biggest disappointment is when he “see[s] students by themselves with too much to drink,” and his biggest relief is that he believes we as current students have “overcome bad examples given to us in the world we live in today.”


After having Chatman visit our class and talk with us I realized how big of a role our public safety plays on our campus. There is so much that we do not realize is done or put into place for our safety because of measures taken by the public safety team.


The reason we can live adjacent to a place that has a decent size crime rate statistic and thrive as a University is because of public safety and their ability to inform the students in a way in which we all work together to look out for each other and ourselves.


Thanks to Chatman and his team, the University of Dayton is not only well protected, but also cohesive. Working together is important and creating relationships between the students, staff, faculty and public safety is exactly what Chatman is doing. I challenge you as a reader, as a student, as a faculty member, as someone looking to come to the University to see beyond the police car and dig deep into how having such an amazing public safety system allows for the University of Dayton to be as successful as it is and safe as it is and will continue to be, thanks to people like Chatman.


 (feature photo taken from Chatman's twitter account - @UDChiefChatman)

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