University of Cincinnati police chief, assistant chief resign

UC police chief resigns (VIDEO)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - University of Cincinnati police chief Jason Goodrich and assistant chief Tim Thornton have submitted their resignations following a review of the department.

The resignations are effective immediately.

Director of Public Safety Jim Whalen will serve as interim chief. He previously served as the assistant chief with Cincinnati Police.

According to a letter sent by the University, the police department's review process began on Feb. 1. As part of the review, interviews with internal personnel and discussions with key leaders regarding the leadership and mission of the UCPD were held. "Looking toward the future of the department, Chief Jason Goodrich and Major Tim Thornton have submitted their resignations," the letter states.

"It wasn't something that we were expecting," said UC student body president Andrew Naab.  "Considering the shooting of Samuel DuBose last July, I think that the chief was put in a very difficult position."

Ex-UC police officer Ray Tensing is facing murder charges in DuBose's death last year.  UC has since ordered a full review of the department's policies and procedures by a company called Exiger.

"They've looked at a lot of policies, procedures, agency documentation, et cetera, and they pointed out some gaps and some management oversights that needed to be addressed," said James Whalen who is the director of public safety at UC.

Whalen is now the interim chief of the campus police department.  He says Exiger made their observations only about halfway through their review that started on February 1.

"As we were reviewing those issues with the current police department administration, the police chief and the Major made the decision to resign,"  Whalen said.

"We invited this external review in.  This is a very important step to the future of the agency and the safety of the university.  Our goal is to create a cutting edge campus law enforcement agency," Whalen explained.

But to some, their resignations are met with more questions and lingering skepticism, including those with Black Lives Matter Cincinnati.  In the past, the group has held marches and rallies in Sam DuBose's name.

"People are fired in order to change the image of something all the time, but the changing of the image doesn't necessarily mean the changing of the infrastructure," said Brian Taylor with Black Lives Matter.

Goodrich had been with the department since October 2014.  Whalen says a nationwide search will be underway for his replacement.

"It is our goal to move this agency forward and be a much better community partner to the Cincinnati community and the University of Cincinnati community, and we intend to do that," Whalen told FOX19 NOW.

Exiger is not expected to issue a final report until June.

Goodrich became the police chief in October of 2014.

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