In another step in the continuing reorganization of the University's security agencies, University Police Chief Joe Piersante has been named chief operations officer of the Division of Public Safety and Security and director of University Security Services.
Piersante will continue in his position until a new chief has been selected.
The Spelman and Johnson Group
, a search firm that specializes in higher education, has been hired to assist in the search for a replacement.
first took the top post, the University's Police force was known as the Department of Public Safety.
For most of the last two years, Piersante
has prevailed over a law enforcement organization that has been partly blamed for serious communication issues, and as a result, the agency has gone through immense change, including the formation of the Division of Public Safety and Security to unite Housing Security, Hospital Security, and Police under one umbrella organization.
As DPSS COO and USS director, Piersante will oversee several different major security initiatives, including infrastructure management, museums security, coordination of safety and security efforts for major events, contract security and administration of the University's 911 Communications Center.
In a statement released Friday, DPSS executive director Eddie Washington, Jr. praised Piersante's work both as chief and as interim director of DPSS.
"I'm very appreciative of the many years of successful service that Joe
has made to the university and to the police department," Washington said.
"When the new division was formed last fall, Joe
willingly took on the additional role to lead the transition.