After almost two and a half months and 60 candidates, a search committee appointed by the university has named three finalists for permanent director of public safety.
Acting Director Gene Burton, who was one of the finalists named by the search committee, currently heads the Department of Public Safety. The other two candidates selected from the nationwide search are also from Indiana. Each finalist has also earned a degree from Ball State.
"There was no intentionality there at all," said Dean Randy Hyman. "It wasn't part of the plan. It just turned out the best candidates were in Indiana."
Linda Stump, who is currently Purdue University's police chief, and T. Neil Moore, an assistant professor in public and environmental affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, are the other two finalists.
Each candidate will appear before a public forum. In addition, they will meet with the search committee, the University Police Department, campus administrators, student leaders and other campus groups while visiting Ball State.
The final selection for the position could come as early as Oct. 21, one week after the last public forum, Hyman said. After all the finalists have visited campus, the search committee will meet and then make a recommendation to Hyman, who will make the final decision.
"It all depends when the committee gives me the information," Hyman said regarding the concluding decision.
The public safety director's duties include leading the University Police Department and working closely with Hyman, who supervises the Department of Public Safety.
Hyman could not give an exact figure on what the position paid, but said it ranged between $65,000 and $80,000.
The selection process began in late July after the search committee placed advertisements for the position in various publications. The committee reviewed resumes and other credentials to narrow down the list of candidates, who Hyman said were from all over the country.
The university named Burton acting director in February after former director Joe Wehner was relieved from the position and reassigned to work in Facilities Planning and Management.
Burton said, if selected, he would continue with changes suggested by a comprehensive review of the department by safety consultants from Wisconsin and Notre Dame universities in July.
"I've really felt the department has been headed in the right direction the past few months," Burton said. "I just want to finish what I started."
Burton also said he would like to develop programs with student groups and improve communication between the department and the student population.
Stump could not be reached for comment Monday.
Moore, who spent nearly 10 years as police chief at the Fort Wayne Police Department, said he wanted the position because it would give him a chance to look at community policing in a university environment.
Moore said he would not comment on specific changes he would make to the department if he were selected because he wanted to go through the interview process first.
He did, however, say he would apply four criteria to the position based on research he had done on community policing. The four criteria included the creation of partnerships, prevention of crime, problem-solving and working with special segments of the population.
"You can use these to assess where you are and guide you where you need to go," Moore said.
Moore also said he wanted to get the UPD accredited with The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. CALEA is a voluntary accreditation for law enforcement agencies based on a body of standards internationally accepted by the law enforcement community, according to the organization's Web site.
"(Accreditation) would signal to the Ball State campus and Muncie community that the department is willing to become one of the top agencies in the nation," Moore said.