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Out with the old, in with the ‘Oz’

by Kristin Whitman

After 35 years, VSU’s Police Chief Scott Doner is calling it a day.

Doner said he decided to retire to make up for lost time with family that accrued because of his crucial position.

“I was starting my 36th year of campus law enforcement,” Doner said. “My family had sacrificed a lot with all the late-night phone calls, being on call all the time and working weekends. We decided it was time.”

Doner has taken pride in his years at VSU and said he enjoyed helping people, the friends he made, and being a small part of the four football teams that played in the national championship games.

As VSU says goodbye to retiring Doner, the school is bringing in a new yet experienced interim chief to take over while a search committee is put together to find a permanent for the position.

Interim Chief Oswell “Oz” Armour has taken on this new position with almost 50 years of experience in law enforcement under his belt and hopes this experience will help him move the VSUPD forward in a positive way.

“My biggest vision is trying to direct VSUPD in a way that there is a direct line communication with this department and faculty, staff and students,” Armour said. “I want my face out there for everyone to know we’re here.”

Retired Doner wishes Armour the best of luck as he takes on this responsibility.

“Some of the challenges will be keeping up with the many changes in the law, technology advancements, and providing the best professional customer service possible,” Doner said.

This is a transitional time for the VSU police department.

The national search for a permanent replacement launched on Feb. 27, and VSU plans to reorganize University Police, Emergency Operations Management and Environmental Health and Safety into a single unit called Public Safety, according to Traycee Martin, interim vice president for finance and administration.

Now it is time for Armour and the appointed committee to make the search for a new chief happen.

“Dr. Darrell Ross, department head for sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice, was elected chair (of the committee) and has experience with many searches of this nature, both inside and outside of higher education,” Martin said. “The committee is represented by a wide variety of campus constituencies, including but not limited to Faculty Senate, COSA, SGA, Student Affairs, as well as the USG Director Safety & Security.

“I asked that the committee consider regular updates as the search progresses via the VSU website.”

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