DPS chief to focus on crime, reputation

first_imgAfter several high-profile public safety incidents in 2012, newly appointed Dept. of Public Safety Chief John Thomas is inheriting a 280-member force that finds itself directly in the public eye.Power change · The Dept. of Public Safety Chief John Thomas replaced Carey Drayton, who served as chief for seven years at USC. – Daily Trojan File PhotoThomas assumed the position of chief over winter break, after former Chief Carey Drayton left the post to work as special assistant to Charles Lane, associate vice president of Career and Protective Services. Drayton left his DPS position after talking about exploring other opportunities, Lane said“The position of Chief of the Dept. of Public Safety is extremely demanding,” Lane wrote in an email to the Daily Trojan. “Carey Drayton was in the post for seven years and in recent years had expressed an interest in other opportunities.”Drayton said he plans to remain in his new post, at least through the end of the spring semester, but is considering work in the private sector.“For me, it is a great time to explore other professional opportunities, which may include work in the ever-growing private security sector,” Drayton wrote in an email to the Daily Trojan. “I began working in campus law enforcement in 1980, serving students at premier institutions, and it is time to evaluate all my options as I look at the next couple of decades in my career.”DPS was heavily involved in responding to several widely-reported incidents last year, including an off-campus shooting that fatally wounded two graduate students from China and an on-campus shooting in October that prompted new security measures, such as the implementation of fences around the perimeter of campus.As chief, Thomas, who formerly worked at the Los Angeles Police Department, said his top priorities are to reduce crime and ensure that DPS functions professionally.“In a nutshell, ensuring that our department is well-prepared [and] well-trained for responding to various types of situations,” Thomas said.Because of the visibility that inherently comes with policing a bustling campus, Thomas said it is important that DPS treat people on campus respectfully.“When people come to this campus, when they come to this community, we have an obligation in every aspect to make sure that we are representing the university in a manner consistent with the values of the university,” he said.Despite DPS’ good reputation with other agencies such as the LAPD, Thomas stressed the importance of improving the department’s reputation among students, the community and regular visitors.“I don’t think we’re horrible, but I do think we have a lot of work to do to enjoy the same type of reputation and respect that we enjoy among our law enforcement peers,” Thomas said.Thomas said he hopes to improve DPS’ reputation by ensuring that interactions with officers are positive.“There is no excuse for us, in the heat of whatever we’re engaged in, [to] become part of the problem by exacerbating the situation,” Thomas said. “Those days of responding out of emotion and out of bias -— those things are unacceptable to me.”For Thomas, increased transparency is another  important step toward changing DPS’ perception among some members of the community.“I want us to explain our actions to those that we encounter,” Thomas said. “And when we make mistakes — and we will make mistakes — I want us to apologize to people — unqualified apologies.”Thomas also hopes to promote more collaboration between the community and students who live in the local area.Thomas’ resume includes working as the adjutant to the LAPD chiefs William J. Bratton, Martin Pomeroy and Bernard C. Parks. Before coming to USC in 2006, Thomas served as deputy chief of police in the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management at the University of the District of Columbia. In 2010, he helped oversee plans for President Barack Obama’s visit to USC.Lane said Thomas, who grew up near USC, fit many criteria that the university was looking for in a new chief.“He was a natural choice to become executive director and chief,” Lane said.Drayton, in his new position, will help Thomas transition to the role of DPS chief, according to Lane.last_img read more

Schwedelson: Hack realizes reporting about sports isn’t really about sports

first_imgAs a child, my daily routine consisted of waking up at 5 or 6 a.m., rushing downstairs, turning the TV to SportsCenter and playing Backyard sports games on my family’s desktop computer. When I was even younger than that, my dad was concerned that I knew the name of every NFL team before I knew every letter in the alphabet.Something about sports drew me in. I’m not entirely certain what, but I became hooked. MVP Baseball 2004 had the best soundtrack of any video game in history, playing catch and basketball with friends became the norm and epic two-hand touch football games at recess occurred daily.Playing was fun but discussing the games was even more enjoyable. When friends played, I enjoyed narrating the action. It continued through high school doing broadcasts for my TV production class.But once I got to college, my interests evolved. As I watched the teams I grew up watching less and less, I began to realize the games don’t quite matter as much as I used to think. Wins and losses come and go all the time. And as I got more and more involved with The Daily Orange, I fell in love with telling stories that transcend what people see on TV. What I realized was reporting about sports is only partially about sports.Sure, you have to know the game’s rules and concepts. But the most interesting stories are more about the people that participate than the actual games. Reporting on that became infinitely more fun than narrating the games. What I’ve learned in the past few years is that people connect and relate to other people, their lows and highs, their strife and success, their moments of vulnerability and moments of glory.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMy favorite story I’ve reported on for The Daily Orange took a few months to put together and it combined two of my favorite parts about this “job.”When I first met Brendan Bomberry, the thing I told him was that I wanted to share his story. I wanted to take a peek into his life and show readers that he’s more than just a faceless lacrosse player. I wanted to show he’s a person, just like you and me, and he’s had some things happen in his personal life fans might not otherwise know about. His choice to transfer to Syracuse was because of the people he wanted to be closer to. It’s a story about a lacrosse player, but it’s not about lacrosse.My responsibility is to tell stories as well as possible so a photographer and I hopped in a car and followed Brendan for four hours to his house in Ohsweken, Ontario. We wanted to be there so we could show readers what his family life is like as well as we could. We wanted to be the eyes and ears of readers and take them behind the scenes. The best way to do that is to travel.I realized I enjoyed traveling when I visited my sister in London in November 2014. It inspired me to study there six months later and further sparked my interest in traveling for The D.O. I’ll never forget the countless miles on interstates, the random people we stayed with and all of the things that went wrong (speeding ticket, car getting towed, car battery dying, not having a hotel room booked, getting trapped inside multiple stadiums, getting trapped inside an arena, getting trapped inside a parking garage, atrociously shanking a lacrosse shot, puking after being dared to eat a plate of garlic parmesan wings and observing the driver of a moving vehicle get titty twisted).I’ll remember the things that went well, too, but those aren’t as funny.While driving to report for my last story at The D.O., the song “Something Just Like This” came on the radio. Being the sentimental person I am, I realized that I couldn’t have asked for a better four years.I wanted something just like this, and The D.O. gave it to me.Thanks, 744.Paul Schwedelson is a senior staff writer at The Daily Orange, where his column will no longer appear. He can be reached at pmschwed@syr.edu or on Twitter @pschweds.– 30 – Comments Published on April 26, 2017 at 10:11 pm Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Wales slips off top of Euro Group

first_imgBelgium claimed a 1-0 win over in Israel, which was enough to see them move above Wales at the top of the Group B standings, with both sides tied on 11 points apiece.Meanwhile, England came from behind to rescue a 1-1 draw with Italy in Turin. Tottenham’s Andros Townsend scored a second-half equaliser for Roy Hodgson’s side after Southampton striker Graziano Pelle  had headed Italy into the lead.last_img