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Protecting U students in nation’s capital

As Chief Safety Officer, Keith Squires’ passion for public safety goes far beyond the geographical boundaries of the Salt Lake Campus. His proactive approach to protecting university students and staff wherever they work and study was highlighted by a recent working visit to the Hinckley Institute’s residential and learning areas in Washington, D.C.

Squires’ itinerary is indicative of his “boots on the ground” leadership style.

“My visit is focused on proactive safety and security to enhance the student experience in our nation’s capital,” said Squires. “The best way to really understand the safety needs of our students is to walk the neighborhoods where they walk and to take the Metro like they do.”

During his trip, Squires met with D.C. Metropolitan Assistant Chief of Police Ashan Benedict and had conversations with individual commanders over all the areas where the university has a presence. He also had the opportunity to establish a partnership with longtime friend, DC Metro Transit Police Chief Mike Anzallo, to provide students with timely safety information and protocols for riding the Metro.

The University Department of Public Safety’s work extends to the Hinckley Institute’s renovation of the Orrin G. Hatch property that will become its new DC home. Together with university property manager, William Rannells, Squires and his team are assessing safety needs and making recommendations for the new center. 

Squires and his team are also looking ahead to the security requirements of the combination Herriman campus where the university will collaborate with Salt Lake Community College to provide extended degree programs to students. Though the campus is set to open in fall 2023, the university public safety team is already working with the Salt Lake Community College Public Safety Department and the South Jordan Police Department in preparation to provide excellent safety solutions at the new Juniper Building.

University safety officials are committed to listening and learning from those they protect. They began a campus wide ‘Listening Tour’ last Friday, connecting with department leadership teams to better understand and meet their evolving safety challenges.