Important dates in the history of the department

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1960’s

October 20, 1966 – Thomas D. Strong is hired as OU’s first Director of Public Safety.

February, 16, 1967 – OU establishes a Lieutenant’s position in the Department of Public Safety.

April 20, 1967 – OU hires four Public Safety Officers.

Public Safety and Service Building

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September 21, 1967 – Senate Bill No. 81, Act No. 244, Public Acts of 1967 has listed among the approved projects for preliminary studies and planning a Public Safety and Service Building for Oakland University.  This building was needed at the earliest possible date to house the new Public Safety Department (police and fire).

January, 1969 – Thomas D. Strong resigns from the position of Director of Public Safety to return to his career with the U.S. Secret Service.

February, 1969 – OU Department of Public Safety hires six students to supplement the work of Public Safety Officers.

May, 1969 – Earl N. Gray, a 15 year veteran of the Detroit Police Department, becomes OU’s second Director of Public Safety.

1970’s

June 14, 1971 – The Board of Trustees approves Oakland University Ordinances to replace those enacted by Michigan State University.

March, 1974 – OU Department of Public Safety announces the Student Marshal Program.  Duties of Student Marshal’s include patrolling designated areas, driving ambulances, writing tickets, controlling traffic, conducting non-criminal investigations, preserving crime scenes, and obtaining statements.  The pay rate is $2.10/hour.

September 29,1974 – OU Department of Public Safety holds first ambulance and equipment display open house.

August 10, 1975 – Opening of the new Public Safety and Service Building.

September 24, 1975 – Oversight of the Department of Public Safety is moved to the Director of Physical Plant Services.

June, 1976 – The Department of Public Safety introduces radar for speed enforcement.

December 14, 1976 – Earl N. Gray resigns as Public Safety Director to accept a similar job at the University of Detroit.  Chief Investigator Harry Galloway named Interim Director until a replacement is found.

April, 1977 – Richard W. Leonard becomes the third Director of Public Safety for OU.  Leonard served as a Lieutenant for Wayne State University Police for eight years before coming to OU.

1980’s

There were no significant dates in the 1980’s.

1990’s

October 1, 1992 – Pursuant to Act No. 120, Public Acts of 1990, the Board of Trustees votes to assume the responsibility of granting police power and authority directly to Public Safety Officers.  This decision makes the Department of Public Safety completely autonomous from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department.  The name of the department is changed to Department of Public Safety and Police.

1993 – The Department of Public Safety and Police introduces mountain bike patrol.

1993 – Patrolman David Birkholz and Sergeant Douglas Godwin captured first place in the 14th Annual Michigan College and University Police Pistol Match held in Lansing.

October 7, 1993 – The Department of Public Safety and Police introduces the first emergency blue light phones.

1994 – The Department of Public Safety and Police teams up with Student Congress to establish the SAFEwalk escort program.

June 6, 1996 – The Department of Public Safety and Police officially changes its name to the Oakland University Police Department.

2000’s

December 5, 2001 – Adam Garcia becomes the fourth Director of Police for OU following the retirement of Chief Richard W. Leonard.  Garcia came to Oakland University from the University of Nevada at Reno where he served as Chief of Police.  He previously served for 15 years with the City of Saginaw Police Department, 3 years as the Centerline Chief of Police, and as an Oakland University Police Officer.

2002 – Dallas Schneider is named Interim Director of Police following the resignation of Adam Garcia.  Schneider comes to OU from Wayne State University Police.

September 4, 2002 – Samuel C. Lucido becomes the fifth Chief of Police for OU.  Lucido retired from the Detroit Police Department at the rank of Inspector and previously served as Chief of Northfield Township Police.

2010’s

April 2, 2014 – Mark B. Gordon becomes the sixth Chief of Police for OU following the retirement of Chief Samuel C. Lucido.  Gordon served the Oakland University community for more than 26 years and established a track record of success in campus law enforcement prior to becoming Chief.

July 1, 2014 – Nicole Thompson is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant making her the OU Police Department’s first female and youngest Lieutenant.

July 23, 2015 – OU Police Dispatch receives Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) status from the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and becomes part of the 911 system of Oakland County.

September 1, 2015 – OU Police opens the Community Liaison Office in 111 Vandenberg Hall and assigns an officer to community outreach initiatives in the residence halls.

November 23, 2016 – OU Police establishes a Support Services Division to include the Office of Information Technology and other support functions.  The Divison is led by Kenneth R. Kiley, Director of Police Support Services.

April 20, 2017 – OU Police celebrates 50 years of service to the Oakland University community.

Historical Photo Gallery