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Safety now under one roof

Sarah Mervosh | Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Three of Notre Dame’s safety departments will be combined into one in the new Office of Campus Safety, the University announced last week.
Notre Dame police, fire and risk management and safety departments, which previously reported to different departments, will now be under the same leadership. The change is effective Oct. 1. 
Mike Seamon, who is currently the assistant vice president for University Events and Protocol and director of Game Day Operations, will oversee the three departments. He was promoted to associate vice president of Campus Safety and will maintain his position with Game Day Operations.
“I think it’s a very positive move for everybody. It seems to make good sense to bring them all under one roof,” he said. 
The restructuring will not change the way departments run, but will improve communication and coordination between departments, Seamon said.
“When they’re aligned together and we’re meeting continuously together it will just allow us to know how we can effectively best serve the community,” he said.
A task force created in October to evaluate the University’s current system and research effective systems at other universities recommended the change.
“By positioning these three departments into one collaborative unit, an already world-class public safety organization at the University will be even better,” Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves, who headed the task force, said in a press release. “The task force members found that bringing police and fire under the same leadership is increasingly the standard in higher education.”
Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) is currently part of the Office of Student Affairs. Fr. Tom Doyle, vice president for Student Affairs, said moving NDSP to another office will be part of an overall restructuring within his division. 
“Now I just sort of need to take a little bit of time and do some assessment,” he said. 
The Notre Dame Fire Department and Risk Management and Safety Department will move from the Office of Business Operations. 
The Risk Management and Safety Department handles preventative measures to maintain safety on campus, such as insurance or making sure labs are safe. 
“They work very closely with both security and fire. It makes all the sense in the world for those three to be there,” Seamon said.
Seamon said he looks forward to working with Student Affairs and Business Operations through the transition period and beyond.
“I’m excited to be working with them,” he said. “There will be close association all the way through the whole process.”
The Office of Campus Safety will be located in the Main Building, Seamon said. 
Seamon graduated from Notre Dame with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business.
He previously served as executive assistant to Affleck-Graves, executive assistant to the vice president for Finance and assistant to the vice president for Business Operations.