USF Appoints Head of New Public Safety Division

TAMPA, FL (Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008) -- Dr. Bruce Benson has been appointed Interim Assistant Vice President for the University of South Florida’s newly created Division of Public Safety. Benson is currently Visiting Instructor in Criminology at USF Sarasota-Manatee. He is also Police Chief and Director of Public Safety Emeritus and Associate Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. Benson begins his new position at USF on January 14, 2008.

The new Division of Public Safety was created to enhance campus safety and put in place a permanent emergency response structure. The division consolidates the University Police Department, security, emergency operations, parking enforcement and other services that directly support the Tampa campus community’s safety and security. Benson will lead the division, establishing direction, strategy and policy for safety and security, including emergency management, at USF.

“Bruce Benson comes to USF as a seasoned university administrator with an extensive background in strategic planning and management and a breadth of experience that ranges from municipal patrol officer to Director of Public Safety for a major university,” said Dr. Carl Carlucci, USF Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “The new Division of Public Safety solidifies our dedication and commitment to maintaining a safe environment that is conducive to learning, living, and working here at USF.”

Benson holds degrees in Police Administration, Criminal Justice, and Administration. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS). A police administrator and criminal justice instructor for over 20 years, Benson is the author of numerous police and criminal justice journal articles, and, as a police management consultant, has performed consulting, training and management reviews for over 100 university, county and municipal police agencies throughout the US and Canada.

In addition to Dr. Benson’s appointment, USF has announced that Mitch Crawford will be the on-site account manager for Allied-Barton, the firm that provides security officers for USF. Crawford is employed by Allied-Barton but will manage the security officer operation on the Tampa campus. He is an experienced law enforcement officer with expertise in security and security management. Prior to moving to Florida in the fall of 2007, Crawford retired from the Maryland State Police where he worked as a Trooper for 25 years. During his tenure there, he won numerous awards and developed and implemented educational programs. He also worked more than 15 years as a Security Supervisor managing security personnel in multiple locations. Photo at right shows (left to right): Mitch Crawford, Dr. Bruce Benson, USF Police Chief Thomas Longo, USF Police Major J.D. Withrow.

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The University offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The University has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.