Interim police chief sets goals for SDSUPD

by Elpin Keshishzadeh

On Tuesday, Feb. 10, San Diego State interim Chief of Police Lamine Secka participated in an open forum regarding his candidacy for the position of SDSU Chief of Police.

Secka, who has been with SDSU Police department since 2005, has been in the law enforcement field for 22 years. He’s spent more than 20 years at college police departments, such as University of California, Irvine and University of California, San Diego.

Secka earned his Bachelor of Arts in communications from UCSD and is on track to earn his masters in homeland security from SDSU. He has visions for the future of university policing, five to 10 years out.

The policing field is changing rapidly, Secka said, and two categories he believes will influence the future of university policing are technology, which is a big part of what happens at the university and the police department, and the stakeholders’ needs, whom the department serves.

“It’s been a long journey in both where we’ve come from in the industry, and here at SDSU,” Secka said. “I’ve been here almost eight-and-a-half years now and I’ve seen where we’ve come from, I know where we are now, and I have a pretty good idea of where we need to go in the future.”

Secka noted the usage of social media and technology to both solve and commit crime, predictive planning and a countywide presence all as part of the advancements of future policing.

As both a student and an SDSUPD representative, Secka said he concentrates on the stakeholders’ needs of both SDSU and the San Diego community.

From traveling with SDSU athletics to supporting the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities, SDSUPD works with the efforts of a variety of organizations to meet the needs of the community.

According to Secka, his vision for the SDSU Center for Law Enforcement and Public Safety, will help students progress in their academic career as well as keep them safe.

“Working at a university like this… is different and very demanding. You have to be able to wear multiple hats because we could go from dealing with gang members one minute, to an hour later having to give a presentation at the president’s office. You really need to be able to make those switches quickly, and that’s what I bring to the table… the understanding of how to develop those relationships on campus,” Secka said.

Chair of the search committee for the SDSU Chief of Police Jessica Rentto explained the candidacy process was a national search. Bob Murray & Associates, a recruiting firm specializing in law enforcement, aided in the search process.

A committee consisting of eight people, including a student representative and an outside agency, reviewed candidates and made three recommendations, Rentto said. Aside from the open forums, these three candidates have held interviews with stakeholders varying from Associate Student leaders to SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. The feedback from both the forum and interviews will help inform the decision regarding the election, Rentto said.

According to Rentto, a decision regarding the new chief of police will most likely be made by next week, though it all depends on a successful background check.

“This year actually marks the 40th anniversary of our police department, which means we’ve had a professional police presence on this campus for the past 40 years, and I would like to be the person who leads our department into the next 40 years,” Secka said.

 Photo by Chelsea Massey, Staff Photographer