Former Chief of the University of Arizona Police Department, Brian Seastone, signed off for the last time on Aug. 5 following the announcement of his retirement after 41 years. With Seastone’s retirement comes the search for a new assistant vice president and chief of police for UAPD.
According to the position profile on Spelman Johnson, the search firm for the position, the role means that the person selected will “is responsible for the overall planning development, and implementation of a comprehensive, inclusive, and dynamic public safety and law enforcement for the University of Arizona.”
Spelman Johnson shows they are looking for “an individual who will serve as the primary steward for our safety and security functions and is responsible for: leadership, mentoring, direction and management for the University of Arizona Police Department."
The four finalists for the position are Paula Balafas, Andrew Black, Jason Brei and Craig Stone. Each of them are capable of the job and have the resumes to prove it.
Starting with Balafas, she began her career working with the Denver Sheriff’s Department as a deputy. From there, she moved to the Wheat Ridge Police Department in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
While working in Wheat Ridge, Balafas was a patrol officer for six years before moving up to detective, a position she served in for three years. She then was promoted to sergeant, which she served as at three different departments over the course of 12 years. She now serves as the division commander for the University of Colorado Boulder Police Department, where she has worked since 2017.
The next candidate is Andrew Black. Black started his career as the assistant state’s attorney for Cook and Lake Counties, Ill., where he worked for four years as a criminal prosecutor for violent crimes and narcotics offenses.
From there, Black began working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in many different roles including legal instructor, a special agent for the cyber crimes squad, a training coordinator, and the spokesperson and press liaison in San Francisco.
Black then became the supervisory special agent for the counterterrorism division. He worked there for just a short year before moving up to supervisory special agent for the director’s office. He was assigned to the briefing team for former FBI Director Robert Muller III. He prepared all of the briefing material for Director Mueller’s testimony for the 9/11 commission a year after the attacks.
After nine years of working for different positions across the FBI, Black came down to Tucson from his travels to work as the FBI assistant special agent in charge for three years. While there, Black was head of the Tucson, Sierra Vista and Yuma offices for the FBI. He was also in charge of managing the budget for 11 different FBI programs.
After, Black left Tucson and went to Hawaii to serve as their chief of the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, he has served in this position since 2017.
The next candidate is Jason Brei, who began his career in the Cochise Sheriff’s Department as deputy sheriff for three years before he moved to UAPD.
He started as a patrol officer for two years before moving on to become a certified instructor for UAPD for six years. Brei even won the distinction of UAPD officer of the year in 2006.
He continued to move up through the ranks for six years at UAPD, becoming a lieutenant for the Field Operation Division and Operations Support Division. Brei then became the interim commander and then the confirmed commander for the same division he was once a lieutenant of.
Presently, Brei serves as the interim assistant vice president and chief of police for UAPD, a role he hopes will become permanent.
The final candidate is Craig Stone, who served as a police officer in the Columbus, Ohio, Division of Police, where he worked as lieutenant for the homeland security, internal affairs, patrol and staff inspection divisions.
Stone also worked as the chief of police and director of public safety for Cleveland State University for two years. There he managed the operation of the police department, communications center, emergency management and access control and security systems.
He then moved to Ohio State University, where he worked his way up over three years to the chief of police for the Ohio State Police Department.
Stone again moved to another university, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was the executive director of public safety and chief of police. His duties there included providing for the safety and security of over 51,000 students and faculty on campus, as well as 651 buildings to watch over.
Stone currently serves as the deputy director of public safety for the city of Columbus, Ohio, a role which he has served in for two years. In this role, he assists the director of public safety with the management and operations of the police department and fire departments for the city.
Each of these four candidates have extensive experience in each of their fields.
In a press release regarding the appointment timeline, Chief of Staff for the Office of Business Affairs Thomas McDonald said, “We anticipate being able to make an announcement on our next Assistant Vice President and Chief of Police in mid-February. After reviewing the feedback and input from our community and the Search Advisory Committee's recommendation, Lisa Rulney, the Senior Vice President for Business Affairs and CFO, will select a finalist in concert with President Dr. Robert Robbins. We will then engage in negotiations with the selected finalist. Once that step is complete, we will share the news with our community.”