Subscribe to The Brown Daily Herald Newsletter

Sign up for The Brown Daily Herald’s daily newsletter to stay up to date with what is happening at Brown and on College Hill no matter where you are right now!


University News

BUSPA votes ‘no confidence’ in DPS leaders

BUSPA officers send email to administrators stating DPS performance, morale have declined

Senior Staff Writer
Friday, February 19, 2016

Fifty-nine percent of the Brown University Security Patrolpersons’ Association members voted on the state of DPS leadership. Of those voting, 87.5 percent voted “no confidence.”

Members of the Brown University Security Patrolpersons’ Association conducted a secret ballot vote of “no confidence” in Chief of Police Mark Porter and Deputy Chief of Police Paul Shanley of Brown University’s Department of Public Safety Jan. 18, according to BUSPA President Justin Pace.

Motions of no confidence typically suggest that associates of an organization believe the person in question is unfit to hold his current position. The vote took place as part of BUSPA’s monthly meeting.

The poll results were sent via email to President Christina Paxson P’19 and Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey ’91 MA’06. “Over the course of recent months and years, the department has steadily deteriorated in terms of morale, performance, direction, vision and most importantly departmental direction,” BUSPA officers wrote in the email, which was provided to The Herald. “We have 67 members in our union, and 59 percent of our 67 members voted, and of those votes, 87.5 percent voted no confidence.”

BUSPA’s 67 members are comprised of many of the University’s police officers, public safety officers, dispatchers and building guards.

“Our main goal is the health, safety and welfare of everyone in our union,” Pace said. “We don’t want (Porter and Shanley) to step down. We just want the University to be aware that we’ve come to them with grievances and issues that arise.”

Discontent within the department has been an ongoing issue, Pace said, adding that Porter is “never around,” often leaving the deputy chief in control. The vote of no confidence “has been talked about for over one and a half to two years,” Pace said. “There’s just so many things that brought this no confidence vote to fruition. I don’t even know where to begin, to be honest.”

Though Paxson has yet to respond to the union’s appeal, Carey informed union members that he had submitted their letter to Paul Mancini, director of labor and employee relations, Pace said.

“(Porter) and (Shanley) continue to lead Brown’s Department of Public Safety with a commitment to maintaining the safety of Brown’s students, faculty, staff and visitors as their top priority,” Carey wrote in an email to The Herald. “While we don’t discuss labor relations matters in the media, Brown’s senior leadership is confident in the department’s leadership and in (Porter) and (Shanley’s) engagement with the officers in the department, as well as their dedication to the rights, safety, health and welfare of the members of the department.”

Shanley declined to comment for this story. Porter could not be reached for comment.

To stay up-to-date, subscribe to our daily newsletter.

  1. Enough said.

    “Discontent within the department has been an ongoing issue, Pace said, adding that Porter is “never around,” often leaving the deputy chief in control. …. Shanley declined to comment for this story. Porter could not be reached for comment.”

  2. I support the decision by the UNION to VOTE NO CONFIDENCE!!!!!!!!!
    The men and women of the UNION have no leadership but still do there job everyday and the Chief and Deputy Chief don’t care about them because if they did after 1 to 2 years of problems something should have been fixed. Unfortunately they wont get the leadership of Brown U to agree to the VOTE because that will make them look bad, they hired the Chief and Deputy Chief. Who knows maybe they will free up 100 million dollars to fix the problem.

  3. Brown University leaders have DPS only so that they can cover their butts. Now they are having to cover their butts ABOUT DPS. I mean…just read Carey’s comments. These people have no shame.

  4. Very sorry to hear that there is low morale at DPS. While this is an internal matter within the union, let me express my support for the officers who have been unfairly besmirched by some students and faculty who are more interested in scoring political points than investigating facts. Your work is very much appreciated.

  5. How confusing. The union representative clearly says that they do not want Porter and Shanley to step down but that they feel neglected by the university. Why don’t they issue a statement that says this and holds more senior administrators (Carey, Mancini, Paxson) responsible? A no-confidence motion in Porter and Shanley does not seem like the message they intended to send. Maybe could use some work on their communication strategy.

    Ms. Dajani, if you’re listening I’m curious about a few things:

    What does the PSOC (DPS oversight committee) have to say about this? There are several students on it who probably have opinions and are not gagged as most officers are.

    What is the percentage of BUSPA members within DPS? In other words, how many DPS members do not belong to the union and thus have no voice in this article?

    Also, what’s with the percentages in the union’s e-mail. Looks to me like 35 members of the 67 person union voted no-confidence. That’s a little more than half, which is a valid number. Why not just say that?

  6. It’s clear that Brown’s administration is doing a very poor job of running a hotel. Smart universities are (1) reducing their on-campus student load, and (2) contracting to private companies to provide food and lodging.

    Brown is not only incompetent, but they deliver inferior food and lodging at a high price.

    Time to bring in the experts!

Comments are closed. If you have corrections to submit, you can email The Herald at