William Bess named director of Public Safety
ANN ARBOR—William R. Bess, director of public safety at Arizona State University since 1989, has been appointed director of public safety at the University of Michigan. His appointment, effective July 26, was announced today (June 24).
At the U-M, Bess will plan and direct the crime prevention, law enforcement, and safety and security services of the University.
“Bill has had a long career in collegiate safety and security and is nationally recognized in the field of campus safety and security,” said Henry D. Baier, U-M associate vice president for facilities and operations, in announcing the appointment. “Moreover, we feel that his background in education will be an asset as he works with the University community.”
At Arizona State, Bess oversees police services, parking and transit services, and emergency management. Prior to joining Arizona State, he was executive director of management services and director of public safety at Bowling Green State University for 12 years. He also held a joint appointment as assistant professor of criminal justice. He also worked with the Kent State University police department.
Bess holds a B.S. in education from Kent State and a master’s in education from Bowling Green. He also has graduated from the FBI National Academy, U.S. Secret Service Protection Program and FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar.
He is a certified peace officer in Arizona and was a certified police officer and instructor and a certified secondary education teacher (English and speech) in Ohio.
The U-M’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) became a full-service police agency in DPS has an authorized staff of 33 police officers, 17 non-sworn public safety officers and five dispatchers, as well a supervisors, administrators, investigators and support staff. Two other divisions, Hospital Security and Housing Security, handle the security needs of the Medical Center and residence halls and family housing, respectively.
All divisions of DPS operate 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Annually, officers respond to approximately 72,000 calls for assistance, an average of almost 200 per day.