If hired as director of public safety, T. Neil Moore would have his officers spend less time in the squad cars and more time in residence halls.
Moore, a former police chief and current assistant professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, emphasized "community policing" during a public forum Tuesday, a strategy that could be implemented at Ball State, he said.
First, he said, the officers would need to forge partnerships with those on their beats to create "regular, routine face-to-face" contact.
"If we have a relationship, you will talk to me," Moore said.
If, for instance, an officer patrolled near a residence hall, that officer should be given the time to attend hall meetings and get to know the students who live there, Moore said.
Such strategies would ultimately yield more crime prevention and problem solving, Moore said.
But, if Moore wants to implement his plan, he must be selected over two other candidates vying for the same position: Linda Stump, chief of the Purdue University Police Department, and Gene Burton, the acting director of Ball State's University Police Department.
Of the two candidates, Moore is the only one who has not served in a university's public safety department, but he said he should be able to adapt to the environment.
"I don't think its insurmountable," Moore said. "It will just take me a while to negotiate it."
Moore received his undergraduate degree in 1972 at Kent State University in criminal justice studies. In 2001, he procured his doctorate of education at Ball State.
He spent 30 years on the Fort Wayne Police Department, and in 1988, he was selected to be the police chief.
The candidate selected will lead the UPD and work closely with Dean of Students Randy Hyman, who supervises the Department of Public Safety.
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.
Hyman could not give an exact figure on what the position paid, but said it ranged between $65,000 and $80,000.
The final selection for the position could come as early as Monday, Hyman said in an earlier interview. After all the finalists have visited, the search committee will meet and then make a recommendation to Hyman, who will make the final decision.
During Tuesday's forum, Moore also stressed the need to create Indiana's first accredited public safety department.
Just as universities must meet certain standards to be accredited, the Commission of Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., has dictated about 500 standards universities must abide by to receive accreditation.
Moore estimated it would cost between $7,000 and $9,000 and take about 15 months.
In return, however, accreditation adds credibility and quality to the department, Moore said.
"The process is well worth the money one would spend," Moore said.
Moore also said during the forum he supports a zero-tolerance policy on drugs, but he prefers treatment over punishment in alcohol violations, provided no one is hurt or no property is damaged.