Wanted: New UAPD chief
The second of two candidates vying for the position of UAPD chief presented at a town hall meeting on Wednesday.
University of Arizona Police Department Cmdr. Brian Seastone, manager of emergency preparedness, gave a 20-minute presentation followed by a question and answer session in the Student Union Memorial Center. The other candidate, Gregg Jacquin, a Chandler Police Department commander, presented at a town hall meeting on Monday.
Seastone has been at the UA for over 33 years and in that time has served the UAPD as a patrol officer, a field sergeant and a commander. He also started the crime prevention section and the public information section.
Should he become police chief, he would like to help make UAPD more a part of the community, Seastone said.
UAPD Cmdr. Brian Seastone speaks to a town hall audience about his candidacy to become the new UAPD Chief during a meeting at the Student Union on Wednesday. Seastone has served with UAPD since 1980.
“We have a really great [police] department at the University of Arizona, and I want to help make it better,” Seastone said. “We’ve done a really good job working with the community, and I want us to become more together and become more of a cog in that community.”
To improve community relations, Seastone said he wants to start an “Ask a Cop” program, where students could ask UAPD officers questions on the UA Mall.
“Our key partners are our faculty, our staff and our students,” Seastone said.
Seastone said that as police chief, he would also try to utilize resources on campus beyond just the UAPD uniform officers to aid in campus safety.
“We need force multipliers,” Seastone said. “We need additional eyes and ears out on our campus.”
Facilities Management has approximately 200 radios, which could be used to help report strange and unusual activity to UAPD, according to Seastone. He said Parking and Transportation Services could be utilized as well.
Seastone said it is important to begin using as many resources as possible with important events coming up, such as Spring Fling moving back to the UA campus and the possibility of a Final Four trip for the UA basketball team.
Seastone also gave his thoughts on pending legislation that could affect the UA, such as allowing faculty to carry guns on campus.
“It’s a really bad idea,” Seastone said. “I think the Second Amendment is a wonderful thing, but there is a time and a place.”
Seastone also said he supports the possibility of Arizona adopting legislation similar to “lifeline” laws. Lifeline laws have been implemented in other states and protect underage drinkers from criminal prosecution if they call 911 for medical assistance.
“We have to make sure that the spirit of the law never precludes someone from reporting a crime for fear that the may get arrested,” Seastone said. “Life safety is more important.”
The search for UAPD chief is being headed by athletic director Greg Byrne. He was selected to lead the search committee by UA President Ann Weaver Hart.
Byrne said the town hall meetings were an idea that came early on when they were searching for candidates.
“It’s an opportunity to be transparent and have an opportunity for the candidates … to meet the campus community and all the constituents and groups they will be working with,” Byrne said.
Byrne said the search committee will report to Hart and a decision should be made soon.
Seastone said if he became UAPD chief, he would want to remembered as a mentor to his fellow officers and that he would leave a positive mark on the community.
“My legacy that I’d like to have is that we have a department that is fair and consistent and meets the needs of our community,” Seastone said.