Days after UC brass announced confidence in chief, UC overhauls - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Days after UC brass announced confidence in chief, UC overhauls campus PD

Whalen and Baker (Provided) Whalen and Baker (Provided)
CINCINNATI (FOX19) -

A little more than a week after a Hamilton County grand jury indicted a former University of Cincinnati police officer with murder, the university has hired a new leadership in its police department.

In an interview with FOX19 NOW this week, the new Vice President of Safety and Reform, Dr. Robin Engel, said UCPD Chief Jason Goodrich was the right man to lead the police force. “Do you have full faith and confidence in your police chief at this point,” FOX19 NOW investigative reporter Jody Barr asked, “Absolutely. Absolutely,” Engel said.

Those questions came after a FOX19 NOW investigation uncovered UCPD had tripled its traffic enforcement in the months following a deal with Cincinnati Police allowing UCPD to conduct off campus traffic enforcement.

CPD Chief Jeffrey Blackwell told FOX19 NOW he believed UCPD’s traffic enforcement created the circumstances that led to Sam DuBose’s death.

Multiple sources confirmed to FOX19 NOW Friday morning that a top cop from the Cincinnati Police Department had retired and was moving over to take over UCPD. An hour later, UC confirmed the tip—CPD Lieutenant Colonel James Whalen is now the head of public safety at the University of Cincinnati.

Whalen, an attorney, served as one of three assistant police chiefs at CPD and the head of the investigations unit August 6 when Whalen left the department.

A press release from UC lists Whalen’s job title as “Director of Public Safety,” a position online UC Board of Trustees records show was not something that went before the board for approval. Online UC board records show the last board meeting was June 23, one month before the DuBose killing.

UC’s board is not scheduled to meet again until August 25.

Whalen’s position did not exist before Friday’s announcement. The university announcement also detailed a second newly-created position for another man who works closely with CPD, Gregory Baker.

Baker is UC’s new Director of Police Community Relations and served as the executive director of the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence board.

The release did not contain details on the new hires’ compensation or details of the employment agreements. FOX19 NOW has requested those public records.

UC has scheduled a press conference for Monday at 10 a.m.

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