By Rebecca Flannery
Brad Wigtil, Baylor’s newly appointed chief of police, said he is taking his new post as an opportunity to improve communication within and around Baylor.
Wigtil took the position of interim police chief in August following the retirement of Jim Doak in July. He said his new role differs from his past post because he now oversees all the services provided by the police department.
He will also work heavily in conjunction with Mark Childers, the new associate vice president of campus safety and security, who joined Baylor on Sept. 8 following his career in the United States Secret Service and U.S. Marshals Service.
Wigtil said together they will focus on community engagement to ensure a safer environment around campus.
“One main goal both Childers and I have discussed is the importance of open communication between the police department and the campus,” Wigtil said. “With that in mind, we’d ultimately be able to serve the residential community and Baylor community better.”
Childers began his career at Baylor immediately following his seven year service working on President’s Detail for George W. Bush, both during his presidency and post-presidency.
His last night as resident agent in charge of the Waco field office was Aug. 31, the night of Baylor’s first home game in McLane Stadium when Bush came to perform the coin-toss.
“I retired that night from the Service,” Childers said. “It was a nice transition getting to be at Baylor for my last assignment as a U.S. Secret Service Agent providing protection for Former President Bush and Mrs. Bush.”
Since he began his new position at Baylor, he said he’s noticed some similarities between his federal work and higher education law enforcement.
“A main reason I chose higher education, especially Baylor, is that it parallels a lot of what’s required in federal law enforcement,” Childers said. “The idea of service, commitment, and dedication are at the forefront of both Baylor’s and the U.S. Secret Service’s philosophies.”
According to the Baylor Police Department website, the department employs dozens of officers with a collective experience of over 300 years in the service.
“Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, officers with the Baylor Police Department respond to over 10,000 calls a year,” according to the website. “The department operates seven marked patrol vehicles on campus, a bicycle unit and a Criminal Investigation Division.”
These accolades all point toward a common goal of uniting the community of Baylor law enforcement and those it serves to protect, Wigtil said.
“I’d love for our officers to engage in presentations on crime prevention that would be more accessible to students than it is now,” He said. “We want to be able to provide more opportunities for students to get involved in what’s going on around campus.”
Childers said he and Wigtil are on the same page concerning what they want to be able to provide for the Baylor community.
“Community involvement is at the forefront of our priorities,” Childers said. “Repackaging the image of public safety is something we’re set on providing to the community. At the end of the day, our mission is to provide a safe environment for students and faculty.”