Chronicle gives vanilla explanation to very rough ride for campus cops

✔Fact Checker here.

There is nothing but turmoil in Duke Police. And this article does not reflect it at all.

We will begin in the time period between January 2006 and April 2008, when "almost 50 percent of the officers left... because of dissatisfaction with the department's leadership and policies." See Chronicle 3-15-2009. That's 32 out of 67 officers, so far as Fact Checker can determine; I can confirm the 67, I hedge the 32 because Duke's administrators do not exactly help you add things up when you seek out information like this.

That time period coincides precisely with the tenure of Robert Dean as director of Duke Police. But don't blame him: he was coaxed out of retirement to take the job with the hope his 45 years at Duke (including the first ten in food service and then 35 as a cop) would sooth over a department already in deep trouble.

Unfortunately, during Dean's tenure, Duke turned to the University of Southern California to bring in Aaron Graves as his boss, with the rank of assistant vice president for public safety. Soon, after a "nationwide search" Graves hired a USC colleague, 35 year old Gloria Graham, to be chief of patrol. Embarrassingly, she had to spend the first six months on Duke's payroll taking classes to become certified as a cop in NC.

In the first year of Graves-Graham, 11 more officers quit (versus a normal turnover of 2 to 4 a year.) Oh yes, Fact Checker wants to note, since vetting of employees is an issue now with the Potti scandal, that Graves-Graham faced similar issues of leadership and favoritism for each other during their USC tenure.

As if all this were not bad enough, the Administration, facing the meltdown of our endowment and other financial resources, decided to offer any employee at the university whose years of service and age added up to a magic number an early retirement incentive. Cop after cop took advantage -- before the obvious step was taken to limit incentives to people who were in jobs deemed non-essential.

The damage was done though: five commanders and a number of officers (Duke, ever transparent, would not say how many) had to be replaced overnight. We do know from a retirement bash that President Brodhead threw at the Nasher that officers with total experience of 372 years retired, that official number given to Brodhead by a spin doctor so he could appear to be in touch.

As if all this were bad enough, the VP who had jurisdiction over Graves and other campus services -- and the cops are considered a service -- Kemel Dawkins was pushed out the door. Anyone who doubts this characterization of his departure for other, unspecified "opportunties" should study his salary history and see the way his colleagues in the administration sent our highest ranking black administrator a message.

Graham -- who had been promptly promoted to assistant police chief after her certification -- correctly read what was happening and started to shop her resume around. She landed a job as police chief at the University of Tennessee at age 38 and has just been sworn in.

Graves, the assistant vice president, fell out of sight suddenly last summer, no announcement ever made. No word at all, just like if the CIA had plucked him off campus for rendition and sent him to another corner of the globe.

And simultaneously, the teflon Executive Vice President Trask, under whom all of this mess developed, decided to do away with one of his four VP's and not replace Dawkins so Kevin Cavanaugh, relatively recent arrival as human resources VP, got stuck with this part of Dawkins' job.

✔The troubles of Duke Police grew in the last school year with one officer killing a man with one or more shots to the face at an entrance to Duke Hospital. Anytime anyone asked, the "leadership" ducked by explaining the investigation was not complete. And shamefully Dukies still do not know what happened.

And then there is my favorite Campus Cop, charged with the S and M rape of a woman. I can never resist this list: he had his Duke uniform, Duke badge, Duke gun and Duke handcuffs, and then some items presumably not issued by Duke: a whip, a long rope, an oversize enema bag and a giant butt plug. The "leadership" ducked explaining the investigation was not complete whenever anyone asked how come we hired this monster who mysteriously left the Raleigh Police Department, where his salary was higher, where he was accumulating pension benefits, and where he was Master Patrolman, a rank he apparently took quite literally.

Meantime, the campus cops last year pledged extra patrols in three areas that were troubled by Durham on Duke violence: Central Campus and both the left and right sides of East Campus. So where did these officers come from, and was someone else cheated? Do these patrols continue? Not even Fact Checker can find out!!!!

Have a good day!!!
Duke. Fact.Checker@gmail.com

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