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Public Safety director retires after 15 years at Ohio State

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Vernon Baisden, Ohio State Department of Public Safety director and assistant vice president, is set to retire on April 15. Credit: Courtesy of OSU

Vernon Baisden, Ohio State Department of Public Safety director and assistant vice president, is set to retire on April 15. Credit: Courtesy of OSU

Vernon Baisden, assistant vice president and director of the Department of Public Safety at Ohio State, will retire on Friday after more than 15 years of service at the university.

“Ohio State has a very dedicated and professional police, security and emergency management staff,” Baisden said in an emailed statement. “Our team works tirelessly every day to enhance the safety of the campus community, and I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work alongside them for the last 15-plus years.”

University Police Acting Chief Craig Stone spoke of Baisden’s retirement on Tuesday night at the Undergraduate Student Government’s safety town hall meeting and asked the crowd to give him a standing ovation.

The university confirmed that Baisden, who joined the OSU community in August 2000, will officially retire on Friday.

“He has been dedicated to the mission of keeping the campus community safe,” Stone said at Tuesday’s event.

Baisden’s accomplishments at OSU include re-establishing the Department of Public Safety, which Dan Hedman, a spokesman for the Office of Administration and Planning, said in an email was disbanded in 1993.

“A national search for Baisden’s permanent replacement is already underway,” Hedman said. “During the search, the Department of Public Safety will report to Mark Evans, associate vice president for the Office of Administration and Planning.”

During his time at OSU, Baisden also oversaw the establishment of two divisions within the department: the Emergency Management and Fire Prevention Division, as well as Communication and Central Alarm Center Division.

Security Magazine named OSU’s Department of Public Safety the second best operation in the U.S. out of all colleges and universities in 2009 and 2010, according to a university spokesman.

Baisden was also director during the introduction of the Buckeye Alert emergency notification system, the creation of the University Police and Columbus Division of Police joint patrol and crime prevention initiatives in the University District and east of North High Street, University Police’s Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies accreditation, and the spread of police presence to OSU’s regional campuses.

“I appreciate Director Baisden’s leadership and mentoring. His development of the 3C’s — communication, cooperation & collaboration – credo for the OSU Department of Public Safety can be valuable to any profession involved in teamwork, which we will continue,” Stone told The Lantern in an email.

Baisden, who Stone said was first hired to organize the Department of Public Safety, was director of campus safety at Keene State College before coming to OSU. Prior to that, he worked at the University of Michigan’s Department of Public Safety’s Community Relations and Crime Prevention Unit as commanding officer.

In total, he has worked in public safety for more than 30 years.

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