2/4 – DPS Chief Search Community Input Sessions


As many of you may remember, the university announced a nationwide search for its next Department of Public Safety (DPS) Chief following the retirement of Chief John Thomas last month. Over the past few weeks, we have assembled a diverse 22-person multidisciplinary search committee made up of faculty, staff, students, and community stakeholders, and appointed an expert external firm to support the university’s efforts. We are now asking for your input as we begin building and reviewing our candidate pool.

Beginning on February 14, the USC DPS Chief Search Committee will host a series of Community Input Sessions. Your voices will play an integral part in helping us identify the most important qualities our next Chief should possess, the improvements to public safety you would most like to see, and how the incoming Chief could best serve the portion of the USC community to which you belong.

My intention is to successfully implement the ONE USC Safety Vision described in last year’s DPS Community Advisory Board report through this appointmentThe ONE USC Safety Vision imagines a USC where everyone feels safe, respected, and protected from being a crime victim, while recognizing that we can only achieve that goal by addressing the diverse experiences and needs of all USC students, faculty, staff, and neighbors throughout USC’s spheres of influence.

We also are looking to identify a candidate who will embrace other key reforms detailed in the DPS Community Advisory Board report, including re-envisioning public safety, community care, alternatives to armed response, transparency, and accountability.

Many of you attended last year’s DPS CAB Co-Design Public Safety Sessions, and we want to extend our sincere thanks for your participation, which contributed to the final report published this past summer. You have been valued stakeholders in developing our ONE USC Safety Vision, and your voices will once again play a key role in defining this next era of public safety at USC and in the communities that surround our campuses.

We would like to invite you to attend one of the following Community Input Sessions:

  • Monday, February 14, 2-3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 16, 6-7 p.m.
  • Friday, February 18, 9-10 a.m.
  • Tuesday, February 22, 3-4 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 24, 6-7 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 26, 10-11 a.m.

You can register for any of the above sessions on our DPS Chief Search website, which also includes additional information about the search, such as details about the committee and the timeline the university is working toward.

Thank you ahead of time for your consideration and valuable input.


Dr. Erroll G. Southers
Associate Senior Vice President, Safety & Risk Assurance