Title

Eric Plummer: From State Trooper to Chief of Police

Authors

Emily Aasand

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-30-2012

Abstract

Eric Plummer: From State Trooper to Chief of Police

Eric Plummer knew what he wanted to be since the age of nine.

“When I was in fourth grade, Florida State Troopers came to my class to present a seatbelt convincer program,” said Plummer, the University of North Dakota new chief police officer. “I was so impressed with how they handled themselves and that they were out there to keep their community safe.”

It was then he knew he wanted to become Florida state trooper.

“It’s the service,” Plummer said. “It’s the ability to give back to your community. Law enforcement is a natural fit if you want to provide that level of service.”

Plummer, who was sworn in Wednesday, Oct. 24, is taking the place of Duane Czapiewski, who formally retired in May after 31 years on the job. Plummer will serve as both UND’s chief of police and as director of public safety.

Getting here

In college, Plummer worked for the University of Central Arkansas Police Department as a student worker and eventually became the supervisor of their student worker program.

“On the weekends I was a reserve deputy for the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Department so I kept my interest in law enforcement,” Plummer said.

He went on to graduate from the Florida Highway Patrol Academy and became a state trooper.

Plummer has done everything from training new recruits from the Highway Patrol Academy to working with computer forensics in Florida for four state divisions to speaking nationally on crisis management.

SAU to UND

Before coming to UND, Plummer served as system chief of police for Southern Arkansas University (SAU) in Magnolia, Ark.

He heard about the job and saw that UND was merging five different divisions under a department of public safety, all divisions of which Plummer has had experience in.

"I thought it would be an interesting opportunity to come in and build something here that can be used as a national model for other institutions.”

Campus to community

In the two weeks Plummer has been on campus he’s been making himself noticed around the University and in the community. He’s walked the campus visiting different offices, and talking with faculty, staff and students.

Along with visiting people across campus, Plummer is making himself known to community members.

“I’ve walked into local businesses and talked with managers to see what problems they might be having and how we, as a campus, can address those,” Plummer said. “I’ve also talked with residents who live near UND to see what image they get from the University and how we can address that and change some perceptions.”

Plummer met with Grand Forks police chief, John Packett, to discuss relations between the Grand Forks Police Department (GFPD) and the University Police Department (UPD).

“The UPD has always had a good relationship with the GFPD and the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department,” Plummer said. “I want to make sure those relationships stay that way and try to further them in certain ways.”

Plans for UND

Plummer is eager to implement his new ideas for the University.

“I have a lot of ideas,” Plummer said. “A lot of them revolve around community contacts and education within the community. It’s assessing what’s here, what the current culture is and then coming up with education opportunities so we can address those issues.”

Emily Aasand

University Relations Writer

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