October 26, 2020

Update on Police Community Advisory Panel

To the UMW community:

President Paino convened The UMW Police Community Advisory Panel (CAP) in the wake of the protests (the Protests) in Fredericksburg May 31st and June 1st, 2020, and the impact of police involvement on members of our UMW Community. CAP was charged with providing a full and open accounting of the events surrounding the Protests with a focus on the role played by the UMW Campus Police. The objective of this inquiry is to (i) distill lessons learned from the events and (ii) recommend to the President, if warranted, changes to UMW Campus Police policies, procedures and practices to ensure that campus police operations are aligned with UMW’s Statement of Community Values (ASPIRE). Within this inquiry, CAP has also been asked whether, and in what way, should the role of the campus police be reframed to reflect the current climate on campus, in Fredericksburg, and across the country.

The CAP members originally convened represent students, faculty, staff, and Fredericksburg community members. UMW Police Chief Michael Hall was later appointed as an ex-officio member to (i) help CAP navigate campus policies and the complex local, state and federal laws and regulations governing policing practices; and (ii) provide timely access to data and other information essential to meeting CAP’s charge. Further, Chief Hall brings the campus police perspective to the table. His participation is important to satisfy our obligations to ASPIRE, which require each of us to act with integrity, inclusiveness, and respect for all points of view.

Our focus to date has been data gathering – building a foundation of information and resources to support our discussions and future recommendations. Dr. Debra Schleef, Associate Provost for Institutional Analysis & Effectiveness, is working with CAP to develop a Campus Climate Survey on UMW campus policing that will be distributed for student input no later than September 30, 2020. CAP is also consulting with the Board of Visitors to complete an internal audit of the Campus Police Department, also expected before the end of September. Both the campus climate survey and the internal audit will provide CAP with insight on the role and effectiveness of the UMW Campus Police.

Community engagement is an imperative if CAP is to meet its objectives and provide meaningful recommendations. After the August 21st email outreach to the UMW community, we heard from several community members present at the Protests who expressed a willingness to share their experiences with CAP. We are scheduling times for individual conversations with these community members. CAP also received a copy of the August 23rd demand to defund the UMW Campus Police from the Radical Students’ Union, the Black Student Association, the Latino Student Association, and the Jewish Student Association. CAP has invited representatives from these groups to discuss their position and ideas with CAP. Beyond the campus climate survey, we will be organizing future opportunities for members of the community to engage with CAP. To ensure that all community members feel that they may express themselves freely, Chief Hall will not participate in CAP meetings where conversations with individual community members are scheduled. Where CAP offers an opportunity for public conversation, all community members will be welcome.

We encourage all community members to reach out to CAP to share their experiences with the UMW Campus Police and their perspectives on how policing should be conducted to fit our community’s needs. You may share comments and request for a meeting using the CAP Comment Form.

We appreciate this opportunity to contribute to our UMW community.

Rhonda S. VanLowe
Secretary, Board of Visitors
Chair, UMW Police Community Advisory Panel

Update on UMW’s Police Community Advisory Panel

A message from the Office of the President.

To the campus community:

As a follow up to my recent email about formation of a Police Community Advisory Panel (CAP), I wanted to remind you of this group’s charge and to announce the committee’s membership. As part of my commitment to a complete and open accounting of the events surrounding the May 31 Fredericksburg community protests, I pledged to create an independent panel to fully examine the actions of our police. I have asked members of the CAP to thoroughly review the incident and to make recommendations as to how our police can better align with UMW’s community values.

Here are the members:

Students
Maya Jenkins
Salem Smith

Faculty
Danny Tweedy

Staff
Arin Doerfler

Community Members
Pamela Jones
Claire Cole Curcio

BOV Members
Rhonda VanLowe
Allida Black

Alumni
Marc Tate ‘92
Zaya Ahmed ‘18

Ex Officio
Davis McCrory, Internal Auditor

I am grateful for the willingness of each member to serve and undertake this important task, and I will keep you updated as their work progresses.

President Troy Paino