Saying goodbye is never easy, but for Daniel Hect, 56, saying goodbye to Denison meant opening a new door of possibilities at Xavier University.
Over winter break Hect departed from his job as Denison’s Chief of Campus Safety to take steps to achieve his goal of being the head of a campus police force. He started at Denison in December of 2014 and called it home for the next three years.
Originally from Farwell, Michigan, Hect first looked into jobs in the midwest so that his children could be close to his family in Chicago. With a bachelor’s in business management and master’s in liberal studies, Hect was the perfect fit for Denison.
“[Denison] is a great place to work and live. I left for professional reasons, the challenge of working with a larger police department on a larger campus. It truly was professional growth for me,” said Hect. “I truly have enjoyed building a professional public safety agency. Campus Safety has undergone a transformation over the last three years. The officers bought into Community Policing and made this transition successful. I cannot say enough of how proud of the growth within the department. Being the Chief at Denison has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career.”
While at Denison, Hect has worked to increase communication between Campus Safety and the students. However, he says his staff put in the hard work to make his vision of a community policing model a reality.
“I am very proud of the work of the Campus Safety staff, they are the ones that are in the meetings interacting with the community daily. They truly did the work. I believe I set the tone in the being of my tenure as Chief and the officers soon joined in,” said Hect. “When I first got to Denison, the student population avoided Campus Safety Officers, now we have students regular engaging with our officers on a wide variety of topics.”
In addition to being Chief, Hect was a DJ on 91.1 WDUB with a show titled “What Matters To You.” He says it was one of the most rewarding parts of work as it brought in groups and organizations to talk about what mattered to them and why. Hect says the impact of this program was insightful and he wants to thank his team of students Mallory Cheng ‘19, Serena Allegro ‘19, Greg Watson ‘18, Alex Kaufman ‘17, and Kevin Ralph ‘16.
“As a radio DJ it was always nice to see Chief Hect hosting his show because it got so many people involved. He’ll be missed,” said Rachel Weaver ‘20, an environmental studies and art history double major.
Hect is currently in the ABD (all but dissertation) stage of getting his Educational Doctorate (EdD) in leadership/organizational leadership. He also spends time helping others work with their problem dogs, as he loves canines, expanding his 30 years of martial arts and enjoying the outdoors through fishing and camping.
With Hect’s mid-year departure, some may be worried about where campus safety is headed next. While there are changes to come, Hect is trusting in the safety team and their ability to fill his absence.
“I am confident Campus Safety will continue with the community policing model. I also believe we will continue work with Residential Communities under the leadership of Dean Erik Farley and work collaboratively with them to engage the community on a positive platform. This work is vital to a health community,” said Hect. “I understand that Officer Jim O’Neill was named the interim Chief, and I could not be more pleased with this selection. Jim is a great fit for the Denison community.”
As Hect settles into Xavier, Denison wishes him nothing but the best. As for the students, Hect says they have come a long way together in community engagement and he challenges the student population to continue to work with Campus Safety to improve the quality of life for the greater Denison Community.
“I will be in Granville from time to time, if you see me in town be sure to say hi. I truly have enjoyed working with the student community to improving the quality of life at Denison. I will miss the students who stop in to say hi, the weekly radio show and the staff at Denison.”