Wayne Hall joined the University of Louisville Police Department in 1991 as a patrol sergeant. He was named interim director of public safety in 1997 and was given the permanent position in 2003, where he has served since.
On Friday, from 3-4 p.m. in the University Club’s Ballrooms B & C, a reception will be held to celebrate Hall as he retires from UofL after a total of 47 years of public safety service.
Prior to joining UofL, Hall spent 21 years with the Louisville Metro Police Department in four patrol districts, the narcotics unit, criminal investigations division and crimes against children unit. He applied to UofL after his retirement with the LMPD.
“During my time (with the LMPD), I got to know several university police officers. They were always telling me how great a place UofL was to work. They were right,” he said. “UofL has been a great place to work. I have enjoyed my time here tremendously.”
UofL News had the opportunity to talk to Hall about his favorite memories, what has changed most during his career and what he will miss most about UofL.
UofL News: In your time here, do you have one or two specific stories that stand out as your favorites?
WH: After the police involved shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, there was a great deal of animosity toward police officers. A public forum was held here at UofL to discuss how to move forward. Afterwards students told me they liked their university police officers. The students felt the officers cared about them and their safety. It made me very happy to hear the students recognized the officers cared about them and work hard to keep them safe.
UofL News: What has been the biggest challenge about working on a college campus, if it’s possible to pinpoint just one?
WH: A big challenge is the ever evolving roles and responsibilities of campus police officers to meet the needs of an increasingly complex community. Many of society’s ills are now placed on the shoulder of police to address. Campus police have to be trained to respond and mediate incidents involving active shooters, domestic violence, sexual assaults, mental and behavioral health, drug overdoses, public disturbances, etc.
What has changed the most about law enforcement since your career began?
WH: The relationship between law enforcement and the community they serve. I believe there is a ‘bucket’ of good will between law enforcement and the community. When that bucket is full, the community is willing to support an officer and give them the benefit of the doubt. In many communities that bucket is empty so the support is not there. I think it is imperative that law enforcement agencies have an intensive community-oriented policing environment. Through community-oriented policing law enforcement can work with the community to fill and maintain the ‘bucket.
UofL News: What is your favorite part of campus?
WH: My favorite location is Parrish Court on Belknap Campus. Even though it is in the center of campus it is a serene place to sit and relax.
UofL News: What will you miss most about working at UofL? Least?
WH: I will miss the people. They are like family. We have gone through a lot together the past 26 years.
I will not miss the late night and early morning phone calls to discuss whether to cancel or delay school due to in-clement weather.
UofL News: UofL has repeatedly been recognized as one of the country’s safest campuses; to what do you attribute that recognition, from your vantage point?
WH: I attribute a large part of our success to the community–oriented policing/problem solving philosophy adopted by the Department of Public Safety. The Department partnered with the Dean of Students Office, Residence Life, and Student Government to provide safety programming.
The Department and the University are fortunate to have one of the most experienced and best trained departments in the Commonwealth. The police officers use this experience and training to keep the university community safe.
The university administration has allowed the Department of Public Safety the resources through tough budget times to increase the number of police officers and security officers. The increase in resources has allowed the Department the flexibility to assign personnel in areas of concern.
UofL News: Finally, what are your retirement plans?
WH: Short-range plans are a cruise to Alaska in May. Also,my wife and I celebrate our 50th anniversary in June. No long-range plans at this time.