The Division of Public Safety named acting Director of Special Services Patricia Brennan to the post permanently this summer, ending a year-long search. Brennan, who came to Penn in 1996 as a senior investigator after working in the Philadelphia Police Department's Homicide Unit for nine years, had served in the interim director position since last summer. Her predecessor, Susan Hawkins, stepped down last year after structural reorganization within the department. Many members of the Penn community -- particularly women -- had complained about the length of the search process, but police officials maintained they did not want to rush the search and cost themselves the best possible candidate. Vice President for Public Safety Thomas Seamon praised Brennan, who took on the interim post in addition to her regular duties as a detective supervisor. "Pat Brennan brings extensive experience dealing with sensitive crimes and victims issues to this most critical position," Seamon said in a press release over the summer. The permanent position means that Brennan will no longer serve as a detective -- allowing her to concentrate all her energy on Special Services. "I'll get to spend a lot more time on initiative projects and being proactive," Brennan said last month. "It's a nice change." Brennan said she wants to use her new position to coordinate programs with other Penn departments. As director, Brennan oversees assisting the victims of sensitive crimes, such as rape, domestic abuse and sexual assault. "Even though [victims] don't like what's going on, having them know and understand makes the crisis a little easier to deal with," Brennan explained. Her duties also include developing programs in crime prevention, safety education, community outreach and victim services. Brennan also said she wanted to develop outreach programs and encourage people to report these sensitive crimes to the police, adding that they were "vastly underreported." Special Services was formed in 1970 after many demanded protection and support in the wake of several attacks on women on campusComments powered by Disqus
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