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USF names interim leader of public safety



An associate criminal justice professor who served as police chief at Michigan State University will lead the University of South Florida’s newly created Division of Public Safety — for now.

USF officials announced Thursday that Bruce Benson, a visiting instructor of criminology at USF’s Sarasota-Manatee campus, will be Interim Assistant Vice President for the safety division starting later this month.

Administrators recently created the division in hopes of improving campus safety and emergency response plans, and amid tense contract negotiations with police union leaders. The division includes the USF police department, security, emergency operations, parking enforcement and other safety-related services.

Benson, described by USF chief financial officer Carl Carlucci as a “seasoned university administrator,” starts Jan. 14.

Benson has spent the past two decades as a police administrator and criminal justice instructor, said USF spokesman Ken Gullette. He holds degrees in police administration, criminal justice, and administration and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Meanwhile, the negotiations between USF and union officials remain in a deadlock.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:31am]


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