EMU Rehires O’Dell as Police Chief

Eastern Michigan University has issued a press release stating that Greg O’Dell is returning to EMU as executive director of public safety and chief of police, reporting directly to EMU president Susan Martin. He had previously held that position since February 2008, but in August 2011 took a job as the University of Michigan’s executive director for the Department of Public Safety and chief of police.

O’Dell’s salary will be $149,000. That’s $20,000 less than his previous salary at EMU, and $51,000 less than his $200,000 salary at UM, where he supervised a larger department. At O’Dell’s request, the $20,000 will be considered for support of the public safety unit, according to EMU. In a written statement, O’Dell said: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to return to a job that I truly loved. I am looking forward to working with our outstanding police department team to continue the many crime reduction strategies and initiatives that we have put in place during the past three years.”

O’Dell’s had joined UM at a time when the campus area faced heightened security in the wake of a half-dozen assaults this summer on women in downtown Ann Arbor. Earlier this month, on Nov. 22, he had for the first time opened the campus crime meeting to the public. He had indicated plans to hold similar public meetings twice a semester to review recent major crime activity and trends, current criminal investigations and crime prevention strategies.

Prior to O’Dell’s hire at UM, the position of UM police chief had been in limbo since the previous chief of university police, Ken Magee, went on medical leave in October 2010. Magee was hired in 2008. He was the subject of public commentary at the January 2011 board of regents meeting, with questions raised about his departure. UM had posted the position in February 2011.

O’Dell, an Ann Arbor resident, previously served as Ann Arbor deputy police chief for four years, and was on the Ann Arbor police force for nearly two decades. He holds a juris doctorate degree from the University of Toledo College of Law and a bachelor’s degree from EMU. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the EMU school for police staff and command.

O’Dell’s rehiring at EMU is contingent on approval by the university’s board of regents. The regents’ next meeting is on Thursday, Dec. 15.