The first of five candidates for Eastern Michigan University Police Department Chief of Police was interviewed in a public forum at 2 p.m. on April 3 in room 330 of the Student Center.
Amy F. Walker has been the Chief of Police for the City of Ypsilanti since 2010. Referencing former Chief of Police, Greg O’Dell, Walker said the most important aspect of being chief of police on campus is visibility.
“The chief was seen all over campus,” she said. “He was personable, and he would stop you on the street to chat.”
Walker said that within the first 90 days of receiving the position, she would “change the perception of campus safety, promote awareness to the community, deal with reality not just perception, assess how we do things, and use technology as with the keyless entry system.”
Kyle Sutherland, a student who works in Resident Life, said he thinks EMU has a reputation of “not being safe” and asked Walker how she would counteract that.
“It’s a matter of communication, of open honest relationships with the media and with other police,” Walker said. “We have to get there first, get the facts, and get them out.”
A member of the audience pointed out that becoming chief of EMU Police would be “basically a lateral move” for Walker and asked why she was interested in the job.
“I am looking for another career and I would love to bring what I know back here, to give back to EMU,” Walker said.
Walker said her career stretched back to 1992 and she described a series of promotions within the Ypsilanti Police Department.
From 1987 until 1992, she served as a police officer with EMU, where she earned a bachelor’s in public safety administration.
Walker emphasized her experience working collaboratively with other law enforcement agencies, and with the community.
“Everybody in the community is a stakeholder,” she said.
Walker said the role of the EMU Chief of Police is “to make the campus and community as safe as possible.”
“When bad things happen, you know the police department is there and equipped to keep you safe,” she said.
“We need to educate, to use statistics and facts to counteract rumor and misimpressions.”