On the Record: David Morrell

March 29, 2007

Outgoing Vice President for Safety and Security Dave Morrell’s last day is this Friday; he’s leaving the University to pursue an undisclosed job. Before he left, Morrell sat down with the Voice to talk about security and chaos in the streets.

David Morrell
Simone Popperl

You’re leaving Georgetown after three years. What would you say your best experience here was?
I’d like to think a recognition of who the customers are of University safety—you could quickly say students, faculty and staff, but I think there’s a huge point there where five-six thousand of that group actually live on campus, and that’s the students. The key is involving students in safety and security. I think that was a critical part for DPS, for me, for the University’s safety.

You’re one of the more popular administrators at the University, why do you think that is?
Certainly I have to react to this word “popular”…

“Respected” maybe?
It all rests with the students. Just making students aware that there is transportation designed by students, and it’s going to take you to where you want to go. They’re getting off the streets. They’re not victims, or potential victims.

Do you think you’ve left a legacy at Georgetown—you inaugurated the position of Vice President of Safety and Security?
I’ve been here for three and a half years, I think legacy is not even within reach in three and half years. If anything, hopefully, there’s been increased awareness. Involving students, meeting with faculty, meeting with staff. … Students were great last weekend, behaved admirably.

Even with the chaos in the streets?
Even with all of that. And MPD was very complimentary of the way the students behaved. I think the students conducted themselves well and I think they set the tone for what’s going to happen Saturday night and Monday night.

Hopefully! Given some of the assaults that have been occurring on campus, what kind of trends do you see in the future for safety on campus?
I think one thing that continues to concern us are people coming to Georgetown campus who are not students, who want to participate in festivities.

Is that one of the reasons that campus entrances were closed last weekend?
We’re concerned with making sure that campus, and the immediate environment off-campus, is safe for the students. I think [MPD’s] presence sent a message that everybody is welcome here, but behave, and don’t come up here thinking maybe you want to commit a crime of opportunity.

I don’t think you’re going to answer this, but I’m going to ask anyways. Where are you going next?
You know what, yeah, you’re right, I’m not going to answer that. You know I’ve held that pretty close to my vest. Certainly I’ve enjoyed my time here at Georgetown, it was great. It’s time to move on.

What are you going to do in the time before you start your new job?
I’m actually going to go see my youngest son who’s in college down in North Carolina—I can say that now—we’re going to go down there this weekend and [knocks on the table] yoo-hoo, we’re here!

Any last words for Georgetown before you ride off into the sunset?
I think Saturday night will be a great night. And Monday night will be a crescendo that will be unbelievable.

Don’t jinx us!
I know! I just think it’s a great time. A lot of people have said, Hey, as long as we’re in the Final Four, what more can you ask? This is great for Georgetown.

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