On Oct. 17, Dewayne McCarver joined the UCCS Police Department as the new chief of police.
As police chief, McCarver hopes to cultivate community-oriented policing that lasts, emphasizing the importance of continually learning and building familiarity with the campus community.
“My favorite part of policing is the community policing aspect. My belief is that it’s our job every day to make people’s lives better. I enjoy the parts of this job that are about going out and doing the simple things to just make everybody’s life better. I love to teach and I love to lead that way in this environment on a campus,” he said.
“I think we can help make law enforcement better in general for our whole country through an environment like this,” McCarver said.
McCarver brings nearly three decades of experience in police departments in Huntsville, Alabama, where he served as deputy chief of police and head of the investigations bureau. He only recently moved with his family to Colorado Springs.
Although McCarver is new to the university-style police force, he said he wants to be a recognizable face on campus and strengthen the relationship between campus and police and students through familiarity.
“I want people to say, ‘Hey, we know who he is’ so if I’m walking around campus, I’ll be excited for people to come up to me and say, ‘Hey, Dewayne’ or ‘Hey, chief.’ I want that for the whole department too and that’s something we’re going to really be pushing on,” he said.
At Wednesday’s Cops and Donuts event where students can get to know the new chief and the department, McCarver hopes the first conversations will set a precedent.
“[Cops and Donuts] is just going to be one small step towards a really important relationship that’s very deep and long lasting,” he said.
McCarver’s experience in law enforcement has exposed him to the fallibilities and misconceptions surrounding police. With the help of events like Cops and Donuts, the chief and the department want to make their mistakes known while also clearing the air from biases. McCarver said that police and students can always do better, especially on a college campus.
“Sometimes because police are scrutinized appropriately and at a high level, it tends to create a bias in people that ‘gosh all the police do is make mistakes’ but that’s not true. I just want people to realize that the police are actually doing a really good job most of the time. They do foul up, they’re human, but we can always do better. Just because we do a good job most of the time doesn’t mean we should just say ‘Hey, we got this.’ We can always do better and better and better,” McCarver said.
Building on his mindset of continual learning as a police officer, McCarver hopes to one day use his experience and expertise to teach at UCCS.
“Number one, I’m an academic minded person, I’m a lifelong learner and I would love to start working on my Ph.D. while working out here. I would love to teach classes once I’m settled here,” he said.
Students can meet the new chief, ask questions and voice concerns at the Cops and Donuts event taking place outside Café 65 on Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 8-10 a.m.
The new Chief of Police for UCCS, Dewayne McCarver. Photo by Meghan Germain.