University News

Harris: OPS Director

October 8, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- Scott Harris, chief of the Rock Island (IL) Police Department, has been named the director of the Office of Public Safety at Western Illinois University, effective, Nov. 5, according to Julie DeWees, vice president for administrative services.

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.

"Scott's many years of experience in law enforcement, his knowledge of community policing and his familiarity with a college campus law enforcement division through his department's association with Augustana College will further enhance Western's already outstanding public safety program," DeWees said.

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). Harris is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the Illinois Tactical Officer Association, the Quad City Council of Police Chiefs, Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #57 and Police Benevolent Protective Association, Unit #3. Within the community, he is a member of the Rock Island Evening Lions Club and Community Caring Conference (former chair). He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Black Hawk College and Kaplan College.

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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