New Mississippi University for Women Police Chief Randy Vibrock says that making the campus safe is his first priority, and he is humbled by the encouragement he’s received from those at the university.
Q: Can you please give a brief background of yourself?
A: “I was named interim (police chief) back in March, and then just here on Aug. 9 I was selected to be chief on a full-time basis. I’ve been with the department for nine years. I started as a patrol officer and worked my way up.”
Q: Is this still the same style of police work you like, or has it changed?
A: “From my time as interim to now being the full-time chief, my philosophy on our policing style isn’t changing anything. It’s just that now being the chief the only difference is that I’m able to make those long-term decisions for the department, and our community policing style is something we hope to continue, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”
Q: Are there any changes in your duties and/or roles since the new title?
A: “For the most part it’s the same as those of the interim, like I said the only difference is now when it comes to making long-term decisions for the department and the campus, I will be the one making those final decisions, and I can see it through to make sure it’s done. There are no dramatic changes as far as my duties or responsibilities.”
Q: Is this a position that you have wanted since you started your career?
A: “Like I said any officer or just an employer in general, if they have any initiative, you always want to move up. As far as my personal career, this is definitely something that I’ve worked towards, that’s why making sure all of my responsibilities were taken care of and if something was asked of me, I’d make sure it was done, to prepare me for those opportunities where there was a chance for promotion. So most definitely this is a position that I’ve looked forward to and worked diligently towards to make sure I achieved it.”
Q: What goals do you have that you also plan to accomplish with this title for the university?
A: “Serving as the chief of campus, one of the things you’re always trying to do is make campus safer, trying to find unique ways to do that. So any way that we can find programs that will make campus safer, that’s what I’m going to strive to look to do. We actually started that, and one of the programs we started was the Night Owls program. We will look into and research other programs and if they fit our campus, and we can do them and it’s going to make campus safer. That’s my ultimate goal.”
Q: What personal goals do you have as you carry this title?
A: “My personal goal is to continue to grow and learn. I think when you stop learning that can be problematic. You start becoming complacent to things. Like I said, it doesn’t matter what it is, students change every year, so you have to be willing to kind of accept that and the changes they will bring. The staff and department will change, so you have to be able to accommodate those changes as well. My personal goal is always just continue to be willing to accept those changes, learn and grow in this position.”
Q: How did you feel when you were first offered this position?
A: “It’s definitely an honor and also it’s kind of an overwhelming feeling as far as the responsibilities that that it entails, and that’s a responsibility that I am willing to accept. But definitely just a great honor to know that this campus is looking to our department for safety and security, and that I am over the department to make sure that they get that safety and security.”
Q: Is there anything that makes you nervous with this new title?
A: When it was announced that I was the chief, I had a lot of positive feedback and a lot of encouragement from students, faculty staff and community members which was very humbling. It was a great honor, so I don’t know if nervous is a good word to say, but wanting to make sure I maintain that high level of confidence they have in me to do the job is what I’m going to strive to do. Just making sure I don’t let the campus community down because of neglect. Make sure that I am always doing everything that I can do to be the best chief of this department that I can be.
Q: Are you willing to consider recommendations from students on what they think would make the campus better?
A: “I am most definitely willing to accept ideas from students. Students are a part of The W community that we serve. If there is an idea that a student has that would help us to serve them better, by all means we are going to do that. I always say this — good policing just comes down to good common sense and we have a campus full of good common sense, so my door is always open as far as ideas that could be brought. If we are able to do it, and it’s not a logistical problem, we will try to do that.”