Chapman’s chief of public safety to lead international campus safety group

With 30 years of experience in the field, Chapman University’s Chief of Public Safety Randy Burba knows a thing or two about keeping a campus population safe. This summer he steps into an international leadership position that will tap that knowledge and help share it with campuses near and far.


Chief of Public Safety Randy Burba

On Monday, June 27, Burba will be installed as the new president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). The organization is the leading voice for campus safety officials on campuses of all sizes.

“Members of the IACLEA are all dedicated to keeping their unique campuses safe and learning from each other the best practices of our profession. It’s a vibrant group that makes solid contributions to the field of campus safety. I’m honored to serve as its president,” Burba said.

Chief among the organization’s mission is providing educational programming and resources to campus safety officers, whose jobs are increasingly complex, Burba said.

“Without a doubt, nobody ever used to worry about someone coming onto a college campus and shooting up a classroom,” said Burba, who’s also the immediate past president for The California College and University Police Chiefs Association (CCUPCA). “Now every day we’re talking and strategizing about how to prevent and mitigate those kinds of things.”

Also this summer, Burba and a colleague will speak at multiple campus safety conferences. Their topic is a call to develop national and state standards for campus security and safety officers. For example, he said, in approximately 30 of the 50 states private universities may employ sworn officers, but that leaves 20 states where that ability does not exist. The distinction affects the level of protection and readiness a department can provide. Universities and departments want to provide the best protection for their communities and there are things statutorily which hinder that ability. Some of those limitations include access to criminal offender information, tools, and the ability to investigate certain crimes.

“Students, faculty and staff shouldn’t suffer because of these inconsistencies,” he said.

In practice, the majority of campus safety officers have attended the same academies as their sworn counterparts and all have completed additional training unique to the challenges of campus policing, including in the new campus sexual assault reporting reforms. Burba is a graduate of the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Point Leadership and Command Program and Gavin De Becker’s Advanced Threat Assessment and Management Academy

This spring Burba also traveled to China and the United Kingdom where he met and spoke with campus safety leaders there, gaining ideas – and dispelling a few myths.

“They were surprised to learn that not all campus safety departments in this country are staffed with sworn police officers carrying guns,” he said. “They still have a vision of all of us being cowboys.”

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Dawn Bonker

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