University News

Office of Public Safety Director Interviews

September 7, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- Interviews for four candidates for the Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety (OPS) director position, will be held on the WIU-Macomb campus beginning Sept. 12.

Candidates include Tom Clark, interim director of OPS, Wednesday, Sept. 12; Dan Hughes, former chief of the Surprise (AZ) Police Department, Friday, Sept. 14; Doug Tripp, special adviser on campus policing/police officer at the University of Oregon, Wednesday, Sept. 19; and Scott Harris, chief of the Rock Island (IL) Police Department, Thursday, Sept. 20.

An open session with each candidate will be held from 2-2:55 p.m. in the University Union Capitol Room (the Sept. 20 open session will be held in the Union Heritage Room). Complete candidate interview schedules and resumes are available at

Clark, who had served as a lieutenant with Western's Office of Public Safety since 2011, was named interim director of the department in April 2012. Clark joined OPS in April 1997 as a patrol officer. He was promoted to corporal in 2002 and to sergeant in 2007. Prior to working at Western, Clark was a telecommunicator for the McDonough County E-911 Center from 1994-1995. In November 1995, after graduating from the Illinois State Police Academy, Clark worked as a police officer for the Quincy Police Department until joining OPS.

He earned his bachelor's degree in law enforcement from WIU and is a 2008 graduate of Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command.

Hughes served as the Surprise police chief from 2002-2010. Previously, he was the assistant chief of police for the Springfield (IL) Police Department from 2000-2001. He was hired as a patrol officer in Springfield in 1977 and was promoted to detective in 1980. Hughes was promoted to sergeant in 1988 and to lieutenant in 1994. He was named commander in 1998.

He earned his master's degree in law enforcement from WIU, a master's certificate in law enforcement from Western and his bachelor's degree in labor relations from the University of Illinois, Springfield. Hughes is a 1998 graduate of the FBI National Academy (No. 193 session) and a 1997 graduate of the Northwestern University Traffic Institute School of Police Staff and Command

Tripp has has served as a special adviser on campus policing/police officer at the University of Oregon (UO) since June 2012. Previously, Tripp was the executive director of the Department of Public Safety and chief of police at the University of Oregon from 2010-June 2012. He has also served as director/chief for UO's Department of Public Safety 2009-2010 and as associate director/assistant chief from 2007-2009. Prior to joining the University of Oregon staff, Tripp was the director/chief of public safety at Milwaukee Area Technical College (2006-2007) and senior director of public safety at the Medical College of Wisconsin (2001-2006). He has worked in various administrative positions at the University of Denver and Marquette University.

Tripp earned his master's degree in criminal justice from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from St. Ambrose University.

Harris has been the Rock Island police chief since May 2010. Previously, he was the deputy chief from 2009-2010 and had served as captain from 2003-2009. Harris joined the Rock Island Police Department in 1982 as a police officer. He was promoted to sergeant in 1992 and to a narcotics supervisor in 1993. Harris was promoted to police agent/sergeant in 1995 and was named lieutenant in 1999.

Harris earned his master's and bachelor's degrees in law enforcement from WIU. He is a 2006 graduate of the FBI National Academy (No. 227 session).

The director of public safety serves as the chief law enforcement officer for the campus. The director provides leadership and oversight for ensuring a safe and secure environment and develops effective working relationships with individuals and organizations both on- and off-campus. Reporting directly to the vice president for administrative services, the OPS director provides senior level administrative oversight and responsibility for the administrative and operational functions of public safety, security and parking services.

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