A new director is in place at the Health Sciences Center’s branch of the University Police Department.
Sgt. Mike Garry, a 27-year UP veteran, replaced retired Sgt. Mike Geraghty Jan. 27.
Before heading the HSC unit, Garry spent almost 15 years as a member of UP’s Crime Prevention Team and spent 12 more years on patrol and as a trainer.
Garry and three other officers provide security to HSC 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Under Garry, changes are already apparent. The office at MDC 1023 is being remodeled, and the installation of a computerized security camera system will soon be complete, giving Garry and his officers constant view of key areas.
Because the officers and the area are close, Garry said he stresses community involvement.
He said he plans to acquaint himself with the community in a series of meetings. These meetings, to be held during lunch hours, will provide Garry the opportunity to meet the faculty members who work at HSC and will further open the lines of communication between the police and community.
“I want everybody in the building to know where we’re located, what we do, and who we are,” Garry said. “I like being out and about.”
Many in the HSC community are not yet familiar with Garry but are aware of the presence of the HSC police force.
“The entire time I’ve been a student here, security has been a very big presence,” fourth-year medical student Stephanie Goff said. “Especially when you’re studying late at night, you always know that security is around.”
After the national terror alert level was raised to orange, UP has increased its surveillance of the campus and its communications with other branches of the government.
“We’ve heightened our presence in the buildings on campus,” Garry said. “We’ve contacted various entities on campus for stricter security procedures, and we remain in constant contact.”
The biggest goal for Garry and the HSC’s police unit is forming a close community that supplements the work of the officers with a similar dedication to safety.
“Any police department relies on its community as part of its effectiveness,” Garry said. “Our department is very open to the community.