A Conversation with Chief James Gilman, Chief of UNHPD

Anna Downs, Editor-in-Chief

James Gilman has been chief of University of New Haven campus police since last spring. He retired from the Connecticut State Police after 22 years, and held campus safety positions at other colleges in the area, but when the position opened at the University of New Haven, Gilman, UNH ‘93, was eager to apply.. We sat down with Chief Gilman to talk about some of his priorities.

“If I can pinpoint the largest safety concern, safety is the forefront for us here at the University of New Haven police department at all levels, students, faculty and staff safety,” said Gilman. “I don’t even want to call them concerns with some of the issues I’ve seen is just the students being aware of their surroundings, that’s the biggest thing, during the day and at night.”s

“The campus has been redesigned and restructured by the President Kaplan and others to make it more of a pedestrian type campus and we put gates up to alleviate some of the vehicular traffic which would help, but still you have to be mindful of your surroundings and it’s good practice here to do it on campus, and to take that off campus, you know, should you go into what downtown West Haven of New Haven, especially at night.”

Gilman discussed a new safety initiative, the Live Safe App, that will have features to help students stay informed on safety programs and preventative safety measures.

Gilman said the LiveSafe app is not just a safety app, but includes phone “numbers that you typically don’t use everyday such as bursar, and registrar’s number, but also how to report suspicious activity, and what to look for. As well as where emergency call buttons are located. So it’s a great, great app that I’m glad that the university got on board with it.”

Gilman said that using the app,” which allows users to text as well as send photos, is the best way to get in touch with campus police to report suspicious activity.

Gilman said, “If you don’t feel safe for whatever reason, please bring that to our attention. If you need a ride need escorts at night you don’t feel safe please call us, we’ll do that for you. The entire staff here, there’s 19 of us and we’re here to help.”