Greg O'Dell returns to Eastern Michigan University as executive director of public safety and chief of police

by Walter Kraft, Published November 30, 2011

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YPSILANTI --  Eastern Michigan University has rehired Greg O'Dell as executive director of public safety and chief of police. O'Dell resigned the position in August in order to accept a similar position at the University of Michigan. He will resume his duties at Eastern in December, pending final approval by the university's Board of Regents.

 

"To say I am delighted by this announcement would be an understatement," said Susan Martin, president of Eastern Michigan University. "Chief O'Dell has made a tremendous positive impact on the safety of Eastern's campus and is a significant part of our overall effort to revitalize the institution - resulting in enrollment growth, improved student test scores and retention rates, and considerable investment in new and renovated academic buildings, residence hall upgrades, campus infrastructure and more than 800 acres of beautiful grounds."

 

Since his hiring in February 2008, O'Dell has led many public safety initiatives, including programs to encourage students to lock their doors; expanded foot patrols and a community-policing approach that has officers interacting directly with students; an enhanced Crime Response Unit, which responds quickly and has solved many crimes; a new $3.9 million Department of Public Safety building; installation of electronic ID card locks on residence hall doors in freshman living areas, and expanded electronic surveillance - more than 400 cameras mounted strategically around campus.

 

O'Dell said, "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to return to a job that I truly loved. I am looking forward to working with our outstanding police department team to continue the many crime reduction strategies and initiatives that we have put in place during the past three years."

 

Chief O'Dell will continue to report directly to President Susan Martin as a member of the university's Executive Council. "The structure we have in place ensures information about criminal activity or campus incidents are communicated directly with me and others in Eastern's leadership team," said Martin. "The Chief calls me first no matter the hour of the day or night to keep me immediately informed on important incidents and has full authority to take action as he sees fit. I review every police report and our campus is safer than ever. Our team works quickly to solve and prevent crime on campus."

 

O'Dell is an Eastern alumnus, graduating in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1996. He also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Va., and the EMU School for Staff and Command. O'Dell has lived in Ann Arbor area for more than 20 years. His salary will be $149,000 -- $20,000 less than his previous salary at Eastern. O'Dell asked that this savings be considered for support of the DPS team.

 

Prior to joining Eastern, O'Dell served as the deputy chief of the Ann Arbor Police Department for four years. During his almost 20 years with the Ann Arbor Police Department, O'Dell served in numerous positions, including interim chief from November 2005 to June 2006. He joined the Ann Arbor Police Department as an officer in 1988 and became a detective in 1993, was promoted to sergeant in 1998 and promoted to lieutenant in 2000.

 

He began his career in law enforcement with the city of Burton Police Department in 1979.

 

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Walter Kraft

wkraft@emich.edu

734.487.6895

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