News Headlines

UI Deputy Chief Christensen to Serve as Interim Chief


When University of Illinois Police Chief Barbara O'Connor leaves her job in Urbana next month, someone familiar with the interim title will take over.

Deputy Police Chief and Assistant Director of Public Safety Jeff Christensen was interim chief from 2007 to 2009. He's not expected to serve more than a few months at the top job this time, but Christensen says that doesn't mean the department will rest on its laurels.

"We'll continue to aggessively follow the programs we've been looking at as well as the initiatives," he said. "We're going to be afraid to implement any new initiatives, too. Being in this role before, you need to keep moving forward. Maybe there is some treading water being the interim, but we've got group of people and great support from the campus and community. We'll continue to march forward."

For example, Christensen says there are plans in place to expand the number of outdoor security cameras. He's been with the department since 1985. O'Connor announced last month that she was returning near her roots. She leaves next month to become the next police chief at the University of Connecticut.

Christensen will serve as acting director until March 3rd, when he will become interim director with O'Connor's official departure.

U of I Associate Chancellor Mike DeLorenzo says the search for a new permanent chief and public safety director will be led by a consulting group, and should be completed by this spring.