On July 1, University of Akron Police Major Dale E. Gooding Jr. will assume duties as the Chief of Police and Assistant Vice President of Campus Safety.
Current UAPD chief James P. Weber is set to retire on June 30 after 30 years of service with UA.
According to a UA press release, Gooding has been with UAPD for 20 years and is qualified for the position due to his extensive experience in law enforcement and multiple law enforcement-related degrees.
In 1995, Gooding graduated from UA’s Police Academy. Then, he earned an associate degree in Criminal Justice in 2005, a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2007 and a master’s in Urban Studies in 2009: all from UA.
Nathan Mortimer, vice president of operations, said Gooding has all the attributes UA looks for in a leader as he has been with UAPD since 2000 and been second-in-command for the past five years.
“Dale really puts students first in his work, and he has demonstrated over the years the judgment, the acumen and the leadership qualities we need to ensure we’re providing the safest possible environment for living and learning,” Mortimer said.
Gooding graduated from UA’s Police Academy in 1995 prior to becoming a deputy in the Stark County Sheriff’s Department from 1996 to 2000.
“While rising through the UAPD ranks, Gooding also graduated from the Police Executive Leadership College in 2005, the Great Lakes Command College in 2010 and the FBI National Academy #249 in 2012,” the press release said.
Gooding feels like the campus community has become like a family to him and he plans to showcase the importance of keeping relationships with the community alive by routinely getting out of the office for campus walks.
In addition, Gooding hopes to help the department continue a positive growth on campus toward a successful future.
“Our core group will be changing,” Gooding said. “We have some retirements coming up, some promotions and some new people being hired. I want to be sure the department is situated well for the future.”
When he begins as the new chief in July, Gooding will be overseeing a staff of 10 civilians, as well as a force of 34 UAPD officers.
“It’s a team effort; it has to be, to be able to achieve our mission of keeping the campus and adjoining areas safe around the clock,” Gooding said.