Campus Safety welcomes interim chief

As of July, Timothy Finneran has taken seat as the interim chief of APU’s Department of Campus Safety. With his 29 years of experience at the Orange County Sheriff’s department, Finneran said he plans to make Campus Safety better and the university as a whole safer for the next six months that he holds the position.

Finneran has served as the university’s emergency response manager since 2014, and shortly after previous chief Terry Meyer left, Finneran hit the ground running as his replacement and has already implemented a few changes within the department.

“Some of the things I’ve worked on immediately are scheduling the officers,” Finneran said. “I didn’t feel the schedule gave us enough coverage across the campuses and so on Oct. 9, we’re actually going to go what’s called a 4-10 schedule where all the officers will work 10-hour days and will provide for better cross coverage, better communication between the shifts and actually give us more personnel on duty, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.”

In addition to the new scheduling of officers, Finneran is also instituting a uniform change to model after many of the other colleges and universities across Southern California. The uniform is expected to be more modern and California law enforcement-oriented.

In an effort to take a holistic view of Campus Safety, the university conducted a vulnerability assessment in May that allowed students, faculty and staff to voice their concerns about campus safety and the safety of the university in general. The assessment came back with several recommendations that have been issued to the Office of the President and board of trustees. In January, Finneran hopes to have received a response about the direction the university wishes for Campus Safety to take next year.

As the father of a current APU student, Finneran understands the importance of working with community service representatives and student workers in order to ensure the safety of the university.

“I can look at Campus Safety and what the students need and desire through my daughter’s eyes,” Finneran said.

Finneran acknowledged that so far, one of the biggest concerns for students is parking.

“I would appreciate more parking on campus,” senior theology major Angelique Pickett said. “It’s frustrating to come home after work and have to park all the way on West Campus when I pay to park in my apartment complex.”

Though Finneran is proactively trying to resolve this issue, he urges students to abide by a community agreement to drive more safely around campus.

“I’m looking at different parking areas and maybe a different permitting system,” Finneran said. “I will make sure that students have the parking that they have paid for.”

As of now, Campus Safety is actively engaging with the Azusa Police Department (AZPD) for the safety of the community. On Monday, Oct. 3, there will be a new University Resource Officer (URO) on duty from the AZPD.

“It’s always exciting to see new people coming into big roles on campus,” senior graphic design major Taylor Allen said. “My only desire is that everything continues to improve for all of the departments on campus that we, as students, look to for help.”

Finneran will remain interim chief until January 2017. At that time, university officials will evaluate his six-month performance and will speak about their vision for Campus Safety. It will then be the university’s responsibility to move forward with filling the position or continuing the interim role.