Former University Police Deputy Chief Craig Stone has begun his first full semester as acting chief of police at Ohio State after the departure of former Chief Paul Denton.
Acting Chief Stone joined the OSU community on May 1 as deputy chief. He then took on the role of chief on July 1 after former University Police Chief Paul Denton retired.
Stone said his transition from deputy chief to chief has been great.
“Chief Denton spent a lot of time on-boarding me,” he said. “He left me in good shape. I have big shoes to fill.”
Prior to working for OSU, Stone served 29 years with the Columbus Division of Police and served one year at Cleveland State University as chief and director of campus safety
As a part of the transition, Stone said he has gotten to know all the aspects of the university, including student life, athletics and research. He said he also has reconnected with previously held contacts, including chiefs in the surrounding areas.
OSU’s Department of Public Safety follows the three C’s — communication, cooperation and collaboration. The guideline was developed by the department’s director, Vernon Baisden
Stone said he and his personnel follow the three C’s every day to strengthen their department internally as well as externally with surrounding towns and agencies.
“We work with a lot of other agencies to assist us when we have major events like a home football game or a concert in the stadium,” he said. “We use the three C’s so we can develop those relationships and work together … to help us accomplish our missions.”
Outside of his new position, Stone serves on the panel for the NAACP and serves on a panel at the Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center.
“I think it’s important that people know what we’re doing, what procedures we’re following and also working with our partners to problem-solve crime issues in the community,” he said.
Stone said he wants OSU to become a recognized leader of policing.
OSU is one of 69 colleges and universities accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
“That’s very prestigious and the bar is set high,” Stone said. “It shows that we’re following the best recognized practices in the industry.”
Stone said a future challenge will be the eight new residence halls that will open on Lane Avenue and North High Street next year.
“We’re going to have 4,500 students living in that area — that’s going to be a challenge. We want to make sure we’re still providing the same level of service to our students. And also, that’s a highly traveled area; we want to make sure that area is safe,” he said.
Stone said another challenge University Police constantly face is keeping the campus community under control during home football games.
“We have to make sure everybody is safe, so that’s an ongoing challenge,” he said.
Stone said he and his team are creating new ways to educate the campus community on safety, such as using the sidewalks properly. University police are teaming up with Transportation and Traffic Management to set up signs at busy intersections, such as East 15th Avenue and North High Street to let students know that jaywalking is an illegal and finable offense.
Baisden said that he enjoys working with Stone.
“I think he’s an ultimate professional,” he said. “Having such a long distinguished career at the City of Columbus, it is a good fit for public-safety operations at Ohio State.”