As the University of Utah’s inaugural Chief Safety Officer, I am honored to move safety efforts forward in a way that best serves this community. Having a sense of safety and belonging is foundational for individuals to grow and thrive, which is essential on a university campus. As a department, we are committed to earning your trust as we commit to fulfilling our responsibilities with integrity, compassion, and respect.

Since joining the U in early 2020, I have reorganized our safety functions in order to build an infrastructure that increases capacity, improves accountability and transparency, and better meets the needs of the U community. Under the new structure, I oversee five operational units: University Police, Emergency Management, U Health Security, Campus Security, and Community Services. I also manage an administrative team responsible for our strategic initiatives, strategic communication and marketing, relationships with external public safety agencies, public safety committee management, and security and law enforcement technologies.

These divisions are working collectively toward achieving national accreditation, which requires that we meet a set of professional standards and adhere to best practices related to health, safety, and security procedures. To facilitate community partnership and oversight, we are developing a Public Safety Advisory Committee and an Independent Review Committee, which will include students, faculty, and staff members and will ensure broad representation in public safety decision-making. We are also engaged in a variety of efforts aimed at increasing racial, ethnic, and gender diversity among our staff in order to better reflect and represent those whom we serve.

I recognize that safety looks and feels different to each person and am committed to leading a division that works with the community to foster a safe environment where all individuals feel empowered and equipped to succeed in their work, education, and other business with the university.

Marlon C. Lynch
Chief Safety Officer
University of Utah


Key Initiatives


The U is seeking accreditation through both the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), as well as the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). CALEA accreditation is recognized as the “gold standard in public safety” and requires that agencies meet an established set of professional standards and best practices. The accreditation process began in early June 2020 with enrollment in the CALEA program and is expected to take approximately 36 months and should be completed by mid-2023. IACLEA accreditation builds on this with a few additional requirements specific to higher education and will occur immediately after CALEA accreditation is achieved.

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Construction on a new public safety building will begin in December 2020 and is slated for completion in late 2021. The one-story building will be located on 500 South, east of Guardsman Way, and will replace the existing public safety facility originally built in 1948. The 25,000-square-foot building will be accompanied by a 2,200-square-foot ancillary/storage building and a secured parking area for public safety staff. It will house the university’s public safety functions, including a state-of-the-art Communications Center, an emergency operations center built to certifiable specifications, and interview rooms and property and evidence rooms will be built to maintain the integrity of those processes.

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The department is developing a strategic plan that will guide university safety efforts over the coming years. A group comprised of representatives from across the department began meeting regularly in June 2020 to create a strategic plan that will outline the department’s vision, mission, objectives/strategies, and action plans that will provide a foundation for the growing and evolving department and direct its efforts into the future. The plan is expected to be drafted by the end of September 2020.

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The U’s Campus Alert System is designed to reach everyone on campus in the best way possible during an emergency. Most alerts are sent via email. On rare occasions, when every second counts, emergency messages will be sent via text to cell phones. To sign up to receive text notifications, log into CIS and click on the Campus Alert link. Students, faculty, staff and even visitors can also be alerted of emergencies using the U Heads Up app.

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The Chief Safety Officer has created new committees and is revitalizing existing ones. These committees include students, faculty, and staff and ensure broad representation is included in public safety decision-making. The new Public Safety Advisory Committee explores policies, training requirements, and diversity strategies. The Independent Review Committee reviews citizen complaints of abusive language, violations of rights, excessive force, and dereliction of duty brought against public safety personnel. Following internal affairs reviews, this committee will be able to comment on policies and recommend procedural and communication changes.

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Working toward a safer healthcare environment

October 21, 2020

In 2017, University of Utah Health Security had 34 officers to partner with medical personnel to serve patients and visitors […]

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Community Services committed to safety and wellness

October 12, 2020

The new Community Services division at the U recently hired two new crisis support specialists dedicated to providing assistance to […]

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Multiple public safety agencies collaborate for Vice Presidential debate at the U

October 7, 2020

Editor’s note: In October 2019, the Commission on Presidential Debates selected the University of Utah to host the only 2020 […]

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    We are committed to continuous improvement and to creating a safe environment that meets the needs of the U community. Please share your feedback with us. This information is received by the Office of the Chief Safety Officer, which serves as the central administrative unit for all public safety functions, including University Police, Community Services, Emergency Services, Campus Security, and U Health Security.

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