EMU names new chief of police

Robert Heighes, who has served as a police officer at Eastern Michigan University for 28 years, including three stints as interim executive director of public safety, has been named to the permanent position of chief of police and executive director of public safety at EMU.

Heighes, of Pinckney, was selected after a national search yielded five finalists.

The appointment, effective April 20, is subject to approval by the Board of Regents.

His annual salary will be $128,000.

"I am delighted with the selection of Bob Heighes as our chief of police," Eastern Michigan President Susan Martin said. "Bob knows and loves the campus, and our police force team has done great work. Campus safety and security is a central focus at EMU and at any university, and Bob's leadership and experience here have been crucial in protecting the campus and in quickly solving crimes."

"I am pleased to be named to this position," Heighes said. "I care a great deal about EMU and the welfare of our students and employees."

The Department of Public Safety has been significantly enhanced during Martin's four-year tenure, including the dedication of a state-of-the-art police headquarters at the northwest end of campus in September 2009.

Other public safety initiatives include RAVE text and email alerts, a public address emergency system, programs to encourage students to lock their doors, expanded foot patrols, a community-policing approach that has officers interacting directly with students, installation of electronic ID card locks on residence hall doors in freshman living areas, and expanded electronic camera surveillance.

EMU also established a Crime Response Unit, which responds quickly to incidents and has solved numerous crimes.

Chief Heighes will report directly to Martin as a member of the university's Executive Council.

Heighes is an Eastern alumnus, graduating with a bachelor of science degree in public administration in 1995. He is currently completing a masters in public safety administration at EMU. He graduated from law enforcement executive leadership programs at Northwestern and Central Michigan universities, and from the EMU School of Police Staff and Command. Heighes earned an associate of applied science degree from Michigan Tech in 1975.

Heighes, who has worked at EMU since 1984, has also served as lieutenant/assistant director of the department, and as a sergeant and campus police officer..

Published: Mon, Apr 23, 2012

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