DPSS Advancing Public Safety Update

The University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security has continued progress on implementing a number of recommendations identified by the University of Michigan Advancing Public Safety Task Force.

DPSS provided an update on Sept. 21, 2021, and additional progress was made in several key areas throughout the Fall term.

Some of the highlights of the most recent progress include:

Project Manager

DPSS is pleased to announce the selection of our new Advancing Public Safety Task Force project manager, Alexander McHenry Pietrantoni, who will join DPSS in mid-December. Pietrantoni earned a B.A. in History from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in History from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and he brings a wealth of experience from previous employment with the University of Michigan, the Detroit and Southeast Michigan Information and Intelligence Center (DSEMIIC), the Detroit Police Department, and the Michigan Army National Guard. Pietrantoni most recently served as a critical infrastructure protection analyst at DSEMIIC.

During his work in Detroit, Pietrantoni engaged across a broad spectrum of diverse community members and business owners to obtain stakeholder feedback and build consensus on a variety of projects. He has shared his passion for utilizing data to enhance transparency, inform best practices, and ensure quality services to the community. Pietrantoni’s project management experience includes streamlining and updating crime statistics to more efficiently organize and report information to the community.

“​Pietrantoni’s unique combination of experiences in research, working with law enforcement, data analytics, and public policy position him well to lead the coordination efforts with the community, external consultants, and university stakeholders,” said DPSS Executive Director Eddie L. Washington, Jr.

Pietriantoni emphasized his commitment to data-informed policing.  “I am committed to enhancing the safety environment and climate at my alma mater,” said Pietrantoni. “I firmly believe in a fundamentally transparent and democratic law enforcement process but recognize the importance and rigors of law enforcement itself,” he added.

“Pietrantoni will ensure appropriate prioritization and forward momentum with this important set of work, now and into the future,” said Washington.

Consultation

DPSS has finalized a formal contract for the services of 21CP Solutions to assist with data transparency, hiring and recruiting, and community engagement. 21 CP will work with DPSS to expand public access to statistics, data, and demographics. Their subject matter expertise will help DPSS to better collect, analyze, contextualize, and present data to improve communication, information-sharing, and transparency. 

21CP Solutions is a global consulting firm with origins in President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. They employ a collective of national experts, including scholars, police executives, civil rights attorneys, and others. 21CP Solutions staff will provide counsel, assistance, and support to DPSS leadership to ensure the Task Force recommendations are addressed and actions are informed by data-driven research and best practices.

DPSS also finalized a contract with Michigan Creative to identify the strengths and opportunities for improvement of the DPSS website, mobile app, and social media channels and make recommendations for usability, accessibility, and informational improvements. Michigan Creative experts will examine website analytics, usability, accessibility, design, and content. They will also conduct surveys and focus groups to collect quantitative and qualitative data to inform their recommendations.

“We look forward to working with Michigan Creative’s subject matter experts to ensure our communications and community engagement efforts are effective, inclusive, and empowering,” said Washington. 

Michigan Creative is part of the U-M Office of the Vice President for Communications and is the largest provider of creative services to the U-M community. 

DPSS will continue to work to develop an updated engagement strategy and expand the DPSS Prevention and Community Engagement outreach initiatives, with a special focus on outreach to targeted groups to improve transparency and build trust and accountability between DPSS and the community we serve.

Data

In June of 2021, based on recommendations of the Advancing Public Safety at the University of Michigan Taskforce, DPSS began to collect additional data associated with traffic stops and other compliance contacts. This data includes demographic data, the reason for the contact, and the outcome of the stop. Since our last update, we’ve added an additional tab to our Data & Statistic web page highlighting some of the new data. The new project manager, external consultants, and university experts will help us analyze the data so it can be shared publicly in the coming months.

Healthy Minds Survey

DPSS recently received the internal report for the Winter 2021 Healthy Minds Survey. The information has not yet been analyzed by School of Public Health researchers. DPSS will collaborate with subject matter experts including 21CP to interpret the data for any insight that may assist DPSS in supporting a safe campus environment for our students.

Police Oversight Committee 

DPSS continues to collaborate with the chair of the PDOC and the University’s Director of Human Resources to finalize training for PDOC members.

Cooperative Policing Agreement

An updated Cooperative Policing Agreement between Ann Arbor PD and U-M PD was executed on August 23, 2021. This agreement includes a review cadence of every four years.

Washtenaw County Mutual Aid Agreement

Progress on updating the countywide mutual aid agreement has been progressing steadily and is expected to be concluded in the coming weeks.

DPSS looks forward to continued collaboration and partnership with our students, faculty, and staff, as we work together to ensure the safety of our community. We will continue to provide updates as we make further progress towards our goals.