March 18, 2013
The Department of Public Safety and the Parking and Transportation Services Department are splitting, effective April 1.
Previously headed by Jim Spice, current director of Public Safety and chief of police, the departments will now be split between Spice and current Police Lt. Brian McPike.
As the Department of Public Safety director, Spice was in charge of the police, police communications, parking, transportation, emergency preparedness, administration, parking and transportation and environmental health of safety, which included fire management and hazardous materials management.
“It became too much to oversee at the same time,” Spice said. “When we were smaller, it made sense.”
In 1997, Spice was hired as a police officer in Cripple Creek, Colo. The following year, he became a police officer at UCCS and, in 2002, was promoted to corporal.
“At the time, corporal was also parking manager. I feel I have the most amount of expertise in both those areas that I can lead parking and transportation into the future with no problem,” Spice said.
Spice remained corporal and parking manager until 2003, when he was promoted to sergeant. Three years later, he became the interim director of Public Safety and chief of police. In 2007, the title became permanent.
With his new title of executive director of parking and transportation services, Spice will be leaving the law enforcement side behind.
“Once a police officer, always a police officer,” Spice said. “I’ll definitely miss the law enforcement side. I think that part will be difficult to leave behind, but I’m excited about the parking and transportation world and all the challenge it’s gonna bring with it.”
He added that as UCCS expands, parking and transportation will become more and more important. “It’s gonna be a very challenging job. I’m ready for the challenge and I’m excited for it,” he said.
Despite the split, Spice said that the departments will still be intertwined, such as with parking. For example, if an area needs to be coned off, Spice said that it will be easier to use police officers.
At this time, the university is not looking to permanently fill the title of chief of police and executive director of Public Safety.
However, Brian McPike, a member of the UCCS police department since October 2008, will fill the position in the interim for nine months to a year.
“Throughout the 18 years I’ve been in law enforcement, I’ve continuously tried to prepare myself for new challenges,” McPike said in an email.
McPike has previously been patrol officer, corporal, sergeant and lieutenant. “Each of these positions has helped me prepare for this next role,” he said.
He added that he had just completed a contract position for the U.S. Department of State, working in Afghanistan with the Afghan Police Program, when he ran into the dean of students, Steve Linhart.
“Steve and I were friends from our time together as deputy sheriffs at the El Paso County Sherriff’s Office and he was instrumental in my decision to join the UCCS Police Department,” McPike said.
McPike said that one of his main goals in his new position is to continue to help the department expand as the university grows. “Ensuring a safe environment for the campus community is critical,” he said.
“The department is comprised of an extremely professional group of law enforcement professionals, each dedicated to their mission. My goal is to maintain that professional level of service and dedication,” he said.
“I have always viewed the opportunity to lead a law enforcement organization as the ultimate achievement in a law enforcement career. I am excited that the opportunity came during my tenure here,” he added.
McPike said that the role has many challenging aspects with much to learn. “I am excited to tackle this challenge well into the future. I hope to be able to serve the university in this capacity for many years to come.”