As Voxreported Friday, Jeff Van Slyke is out as head of the Georgetown’s Department of Public Safety. Now, an email sent by Senior Vice President Spiros Dimolitsas to senior administrators explains how DPS will function after Van Slyke’s leaves in May.
Judging by the contents of the email, the position of DPS Director will be eliminated and DelMonaco will assume operational control.
As for Van Slyke, the University wishes “him all the best in future endeavors,” Dimolitsas wrote.
A source inside DPS said that DelMonaco is expected to “clean house,” although Van Slyke is so far the only confirmed firing.
Since he’s out at the end of the month, now is your perfect chance to read a 2008 Voice cover story about Van Slyke’s record at other universities. Alleged racial profiling and police brutality! Huge guns!
Dimolitsa’s email to senior administrators, after the jump
“I’m an operator,” said Vice President for University Safety Rocco DelMonaco, who is said to be taking Van Slyke’s controlling position over DPS after the Director job is eliminated. He added that he is sure Van Slyke will find another job.
At the University of Texas, Georgetown new Director of Public Safety bought 10 semi-automatic AR-15 rifles (in action here), and justified them by referring to a sniper attack 40 years ago. The guns are one of my favorite parts of the Jeffrey Van Slyke Parade of Infamy . The student informants are chilling and the alleged police brutality is disturbing, but Van Slyke’s guns have an unbeatable visual flair. According to weapons receipts from the University of Mississippi obtained under an open records request, Van Slyke’s fondness for huge guns didn’t end in Austin.
A summary of the receipts, sent by Ole Miss’s attorney Lee Tyner, includes 8 purchases of Bushmaster M-4 rifles while Van Slyke ran the department. The M-4 is modeled on the AR-15, and has great ratings on Police Link.com (“Pretty Heavy Duty. This is good weaponry for war in the jungle.”).
To Van Slyke’s credit, the open records request did not turn up any serious police brutality complaints. But seriously, “war in the jungle”?
The Department of Public Safety published the annual Crime Awareness Report (PDF) Tuesday, but all the good stuff turned out to be clerical errors. All the good stuff, that is, except for this front page picture of Jeff Van Slyke, Director of Public Safety, and Jack the Bulldog.
There’s a reason why Jeff and Jack are getting acquainted. Yesterday, Van Slyke told me that Jack is getting deputized into DPS–seriously. He said there’s going to be a photo-op with DPS officers in the Adopt-a-Cop program, and Jack is going to come along to be sworn into the canine unit. He speculated about the possibility of using fishing line to raise Jack’s right paw for a swearing-in.
Jeffrey Van Slyke, the new head of DPS, has a worrisome past. As the head of the University of Texas’s police force, his department was accused of racial profiling, a charge he belittled. He was named in a civil suit (settled out of court) for negligence. A UTPD officer attended the meeting of a pro-choice group, and Van Slyke armed his policemen with semi-automatics and shotguns, despite the university’s low crime rate. These and other problems in his record were discussed earlier this afternoon, here and here.
University spokesperson Julie Green Bataille responded to me in an email, and she’s not too concerned
In terms of his background please know that Jeff has handled a range of complex and challenging issues throughout his career. His police and emergency management experience and understanding of higher education made him the most qualified person to lead Georgetown’s Department of Public Safety at this time. He’s already making a positive enhancements to our ongoing efforts to address campus safety and security.
Allegations about incidents that may or may not have occurred at other institutions are best be addressed by those entities directly.
It seems like Georgetown is either OK with the things Van Slyke and his subordinates did ( infiltrating a pro-choice group!) or they didn’t know and now that they do, they’re OK with it. How depressing.
Darn it, Jeff. Freshmen are here on campus and I want to write about them, write some fun service journalism, but your checkered past is taking over the blog.
When last we checked in with the new director of DPS, he had been accused of negligence in a sexual assault case that was settled out of court, and he displayed a cavalier attitude towards his department’s apparent racial profiling. Van Slyke was at the University of Texas for 6 years, though, so he got up to a lot more mischief.
UTwatch.org catalogued some of Van Slyke’s misadventures. Besides the racial profile and sexual assault, under Van Slyke’s leadership UT police:
bought semi-automatic pistols and shotguns, despite already having pistols
infiltrated student groups by attending meetings undercover. An incident report filed by a UT police officer described her attending a pro-choice group meeting.
fought to keep the locations of security cameras secret
I’m trying to find more information and substantiate these claims from UTWatch, but main campus paper The Daily Texan is having some search problems today. Their search doesn’t turn up any articles about Van Slyke, and that can’t be right.
Flickr photo from user informatique used under a Creative Commons license
Jeffrey van Slyke, the new director of our campus security force in the Department of Public Safety, has a lot of experience with campus security forces. He has a doctorate in education, a BS in criminal justice, and headed the University of Mississippi’s police force for 3 years. Before Ole Miss, though, he was tied to some unsavory situations as the head of the University of Texas Police Department, including being named in a sexual assault suit that was settled out of court.
In January 2003, while Van Slyke was the head of UTPD, a university police officer asked an African-American student for two IDs in the student union. The officer described the student’s actions as “suspicious and furtive”. The only suspicious thing the student was doing, though, was playing the piano.
The student felt that he was being racially profiled, and eventually filed a complaint. Before the complaint, however, Van Slyke had this to say:
“I cannot change how somebody feels. We are not here to be a feel-good people. People want to vent, and they feel like they have been mistreated. Truth and reality are different than how people feel.”
Sounds like someone really committed to an unbiased internal investigation. The whole incident sparked a discussion of racial issues on campus, similar to what Georgetown had after the anti-gay hate crimes. When asked at a forum about any plans to avoid racial profiling in the future, Van Slyke said there weren’t any.
It’s worth taking time out to say, what? Is this guy serious? He’s clearly a dream for campus newspapers, because he’ll shoot his mouth off whenever, but he’s not so good for people interested in a DPS that actually takes student complaints, especially racial ones, seriously.
Anyway, while an internal review conducted by UTPD found the department blameless, a task force created by the university president “suggested diversity training for campus police and a review of the department’s racial profiling policy.”
After the jump, an officer allegedly forces a blowjob, and Van Slyke is blamed