By Camila De La Fuente
Jeffrey Godown joined CSUSB as the Interim Chief of the University Police Department on January 19, 2022. Godown’s time of serving the faculty, students, and the campus came to an end on January 27, 2023.
Jeffrey Godown, a former law enforcement veteran with work experience of over 30 years, was chosen to take on the role as the interim chief on January 19, 2022, for the California State University of San Bernardino. He was selected after the former chief of police, Nina Jameson, retired on February 1, 2022. Godown was provided with twenty sworn officers, twenty-two community service officers, twenty-nine parking enforcement officers, five police dispatchers, and four administrative employees to lead.
Godown’s 30-plus years of experience include the LAPD/SFPD in 1981, the Performance Management Consultant for Public Safety in Los Angeles in 2012, captain at the University of California in San Francisco police department in 2013, and the chief of police at the Oakland Unified School District Police Department in 2015.
Chief Godown is known as a person who tells it as it is. For example, in 2015 there was an incident when two police officers choked and punched a student in the Oakland Unified School District. These two police officers used incorrect conflict resolution by using disproportionate violence. Godown was not working with OUSD at the time, but when he reviewed the report and video captured he mentioned how the only truth to the report was the students because the report did not match with the video.
Once Godown joined the California State University of San Bernardino he was interviewed by Emina Preciado and LaShané Overstreet of the Coyote Chronicle on June 23, 2022. Godown mentioned that when students walk past him, they simply want to get by as quickly as possible because they feel uncomfortable. Godown also felt uncomfortable when he would walk out of work and a cop car would be behind him because he was now a civilian.
Godown understands how people feel and how people of color may feel because they are worried that they may get stopped for no reason and explains that most of the time, that happens. Godown stated, “I think where I get in trouble a lot of times with the cops is that I tell the truth, you know, I say no this is the reality of what goes on out there.”
Now that Godown has resigned from the school on January 27th, the vice president of the Information Technology Services and CIO Administrator is in charge. There is a nationwide search process for a new chief and there are hopes to have one by April, which is mentioned by Sam Sudhakar.
The person who will be taking the role of acting chief until their search is over will be John Gutierrez. Gutierrez stepped in as acting chief effectively on January 28th. Chief Gutierrez has been at the California State University of San Bernardino since August 2021 and is also a 32-year veteran law enforcement officer who began his journey in 1991. Gutierrez served with the San Bernardino City Unified School District Police Department as a Sergeant of Police.
Interim Chief Jeffrey Godown stated in his interview with Emina Preciado and LaShané Overstreet, “I want to make sure that I leave the university in a better place than when I got here and I want to make sure that I leave the university’s relationship between the police officers in a better place. What I was trying to get at is that we have a very seldom chance to talk to a group of students or at least I do.” Jeffrey Godown did leave the university in a better place than when he first arrived.
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