Christopher Schuster, one of the finalist candidates for UND’s associate vice president of public safety and chief of police, said he would work toward helping officers understand the history of law enforcement, and how it is viewed by members of certain communities. That understanding, he said, can help a police department develop a more inclusive attitude; something needed to expand the idea that law enforcement serves the entire community.
“We need to be aware of how we can cater to those identities, because those identities that we’re catering to is what allows us to all be here today,” Schuster said. “We are here because of the students.”
Schuster is the second candidate to hold a public forum at UND. He addressed attendees at a campus meeting on Wednesday, July 21, to outline his ideas about university policing, including how the department can work more closely with groups representing black, indigenous and other people of color, as well as the LGBTQ community. It’s necessary, he said, to acknowledge some members of those groups may have had negative experiences with law enforcement, but a deeper commitment to diversity and inclusivity can help bridge that gap.
“I think it’s very important to come