Hestness assumes chief duties

Current Chief George Aylward will resign today to take a job at Yale.

Koran Addo

Assistant Vice President for Public Safety Greg Hest-ness will be the new University Police Department chief, Department of Public Safety officials said Thursday.

Current Chief of Police George Aylward announced his resignation in March and will be taking a job as director of security at Yale University in Connecticut.

Hestness came to the University in July 2003 after working for the Minneapolis Police Department for 28 years.

He will keep his current job while taking on the added responsibilities of chief of police.

Responsibilities for the chief include furthering the department’s mission to provide a safe environment for University students, faculty and staff, as well as promoting a culture of professionalism.

Hestness said the idea of combining the two jobs came from Aylward, who thought merging the jobs into one salary would be a good way to offset expected cuts in police funding next year.

Hestness will assume duties as chief Saturday after Aylward resigns his post today.

Aylward briefly held both positions last year when he was named interim assistant vice president of the Department of Public Safety, Hestness’ current job.

University police Lt. Chuck Miner said naming Hestness as chief was a good decision and he is confident the transition will be smooth for Hestness.

Kathleen O’Brien, vice president for University Services, which oversees University police, said Hestness’ new role will streamline University operations, increasing efficiency.

Hestness said he plans to continue the good work Aylward did as chief and will rely on Capt. Steve Johnson, a 25-year veteran of the department, to help with the extra workload.

“I’m going to be a visible chief,” Hestness said. “That’s the part of the job I will really enjoy: interacting with the officers and the community. I’m really looking forward to it.”