Benjamin Hunter named superintendent of public safety at Indiana University

  • Nov. 15, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University has named Benjamin Hunter to the position of superintendent of public safety, a role that is responsible for comprehensive strategy, policy and practices for public safety across Indiana University, including the Indiana University Police Department, which has 135 sworn officers across all IU campuses, as well as the Indiana University Police Academy.

Hunter, an Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis alumnus who graduated from IU Police Academy in 1994, is currently the executive director of public safety, community relations and government affairs at Butler University. He begins his new position at IU on Jan. 2.

“The position of superintendent is critically important to Indiana University, as it bears direct responsibility for public safety across all of the campuses managed by IU,” said John Applegate, executive vice president for university academic affairs. “The superintendent translates the always-evolving profession into campus-oriented operations and ensures that university leadership is kept fully aware of safety conditions on every campus. Ben Hunter’s breadth of experience will serve him and Indiana University particularly well in this key role."

After graduating from IU with a degree in political science, Hunter worked for IUPD-Indianapolis before taking a job with the Indianapolis Police Department, where he worked from 1998 to 2008.

He was elected to two four-year terms on the Indianapolis City-County Council, ending in December 2015. His position at Butler University evolved, beginning as director of public safety and chief of police, and including a period where he served as chief of staff to Butler University President James M. Danko while overseeing the university’s Department of Public Safety and University Events office.

“Ben’s background is unique, with experience in both municipal and university public safety and local government and across a wide variety of university administration,” said Mark Bruhn, associate vice president for the Office of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance, which comprises public safety at IU in addition to other safety, security and emergency operations.

“Because of this, he understands well and can better traverse the sometimes complex landscape in order to advocate for our officers and address evolving public safety issues.”

Hunter describes the new position as “a coming home” and “an awesome opportunity to return to an institution that I love.”

He has a deep interest in community policing, something he developed while working as a community liaison for three different deputy police chiefs at the Indianapolis Police Department. Universities and colleges are uniquely suited for community policing, he said, because of the “wrap-around” services that can be provided by collaborating with various university offices, such as student affairs and health services. He looks forward to developing strategies that include the various communities served by IUPD.

“The Indiana University Police Department and its allied public safety functions are excellent, and I relish the opportunity to continue this good work,” he said.

Bruhn added, “We absolutely owe a debt of gratitude to Bob True, chief of IUPD-Indianapolis, who stepped in as interim as we executed the search for the new superintendent, as well as to Bill Abston and Kevin Figg, deputy chief and operations captain at IUPD-Indianapolis, respectively. All three took on significant additional duties, and we cannot thank them enough.”

To speak with Hunter, contact Tracy James at 812-856-2865 or traljame@iu.edu

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Tracy James