John Kuprevich, the director of Police and Security Services at Brown University, will become the University's first police commissioner. Senior Vice President Marna Whittington announced Kuprevich's appointment Friday. Kuprevich will assume the newly-created post in early October and will spend his first six weeks splitting his time between the two universities. He will start working full-time in mid-November. As commissioner, Kuprevich will oversee the entire Police Department and Victim Support and Security Services. Whittington created the position last spring as part of a wave of changes she made in the department. In the past year the department has changed its name, added five new patrol cars, nearly doubled the number of police officers and has started planning for a new police station. Whittington said earlier this year the new commissioner would take direct responsibility from her in these areas. Kuprevich's appointment comes after a nation-wide search by a professional recruiting company and a University search committee. Kuprevich has been at Brown since 1981 and is credited with improving training for police officers, improving Brown's relationship with state and local police and expanding the department from 31 officers to 50. He also helped to create a volunteer program to help female crime victims. He is familiar with the crime problems urban schools face, having worked 11 years at Wayne State University in inner-city Detroit. He received a master's degree in criminal justice administration in 1978 from Michigan State University and a bachelor's degree in Law Enforcement and Corrections from Penn State in 1970. Whittington said she was "delighted" to bring Kuprevich to the University. "He has expertise in both the academic and urban environments and his approaches to police management and security planning in the urban university have been widely recognized," she said in a press release. "As a forerunner in the practice of programmatic approaches to public safety, he will provide strong vision and direction to our police and security services," she added. Search committee member Helen Davies said she thought the University attracted a strong field of candidates and that Kuprevich is a "superb choice." College junior Jeffrey Jacobson, the co-chairperson of the Safety and Security Committee, said he believes Kuprevich's experience with urban schools, as well as with university administration, makes him perfect for the job. "I don't think that anyone could have come up with a better selection," he said. "People are real happy about this. It really looks like they made the right choice." Kuprevich said he was not actively looking to leave Brown but was impressed by the improvements the University has made in the department and decided to apply. "I'm extremely excited about the opportunity to come to Penn," he said. "I enjoy urban environments. I enjoy community and campus law enforcement and trying to make the area as safe as possible." He also said he hopes to be a catalyst for more improvements in the department. He said his biggest strengths are communicating with officers, administrators and the public and a willingness to listen to input from all groups. He said the community and the department must cooperate to stop crime. He added that students need to learn to be aware and to help the department. Kuprevich said immediate changes are not likely. He said he has not had a chance to study the campus and learn enough about the school so he will spend much of his time "coming up to speed."Comments powered by Disqus
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