GW Safety and Security Reorganization Aims for more Efficient Structure

Darrell Darnell, senior vice president of the division, assumed the title of superintendent of police.

April 05, 2018

The George Washington University Division of Safety and Security has undergone a reorganization that will promote a more efficient and accountable structure, said Darrell Darnell, senior vice president of the division.

The changes include the elimination of GW Police Department’s chief of police position. Mr. Darnell will assume the role of superintendent of police and absorb many of the police chief’s duties.

The reorganization also includes the creation of four assistant police chief positions that will report directly to Mr. Darnell.

These include the assistant chief of operations, which used to be a commander position; the assistant chief of administration, which was previously a commander position; and assistant chief of physical security and technology management, which was previously a senior director position.

The fourth assistant chief role, the assistant chief of investigation and threat assessment, is a new position that will consolidate all of GWPD’s investigative functions under one university official. The assistant chief will lead the daily investigative and threat assessment activities and operations within the department and oversee all criminal and non-criminal investigations and behavioral threat assessment investigations.

The division also created a new assistant vice president for strategic plans and operations position. The assistant vice president will implement and monitor the division’s strategic, operational and project plans and provide executive support to GWPD. The position will report directly to Mr. Darnell.

These changes will not result in any job losses within the division, Mr. Darnell said. Bessie Burrus, who served as interim chief since January, returned to her previous position and now holds the title assistant chief of administration.

These internal changes will not result in any change in safety and security services to students and the GW community, Mr. Darnell said.

In addition, a new Division of Safety and Security Student Advisory Board will be launched in the coming months to advise the division on safety and security policies and procedures that affect students. It will be composed of eight to 10 students representative of the student body. The exact membership makeup will be determined through conversations with student leaders.

The board will be co-advised by officials in the Office of the Provost and the Division of Safety and Security.

The Health and Emergency Management Services Office is unaffected by these changes and will continue to report to Mr. Darnell.

University News


University Announces Resignation of GWPD Chief of Police

January 08, 2018
Commander Bessie Burrus to serve as interim chief.