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NIU Department of Police and Public Safety Profiles

Chief Tom Phillips     Detective Jason McCauley     Detective Larry Williams     Officer Emily Cavazos     Officer Wey-ni A. Langdon    


Chief Thomas Phillips

Chief Thomas PhillipsName: Thomas Phillips

Department: Dept. of Police and Public Safety

Title: Chief of Police

First Year At NIU: 2013

What do you enjoy most about your job in the Dept. of Police and Public Safety?
The little victories of organizational change. Great achievements are fantastic too, but it’s the cumulative smaller achievements that build an organizational legacy.

Why did you choose this as your career?
I didn’t really choose it, I kind of fell into policing as an afterthought when I joined the military. Then I realized that I really love being a police officer.

Why did you choose to serve at NIU?
I saw an opportunity to be part of something special, in the police department, at NIU, and in the greater DeKalb community.

What do students ask you most often?
Chief, are you hiring?

Who or what on campus inspires you?
The NIU students inspire me. They give me purpose to be here. To make sure they have a safe and healthy environment to study, work, and live.

How do you view your role in terms of campus safety?
I am the conductor and the police and public safety staff are the orchestra. My job is to make sure that all of our safety initiatives come together in an efficient and effective manner.

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Detective Jason McCauley

Detective Jason McCauley

Name: Jason McCauley

Department: Dept. of Police and Public Safety

Title: Detective

First Year At NIU: I have been serving as a police officer since 2008.

What do you enjoy most about your job in the Dept. of Police and Public Safety?
I enjoy correcting the wrongs. Whether having one on one conversations with students to change their perspective about police or, criminally, arresting a violent offender.

Why did you choose this as your career?
I chose law enforcement because of the many opportunities and challenges. Law enforcement is a profession where you are not secluded in an office. Rather we are out in the public working towards common goals.

Why did you choose to serve at NIU?
I was a student at NIU and I was involved in the community. As a NIU police officer, I can continue those relationships I formed and give back. As an agency we have more positive interactions than negative.

What do students ask you most often?
How to get out of a traffic ticket.

Who or what on campus inspires you?
I am inspired by the NIU students who I know through the years and I see graduate. I often meet students their first year and give them guidance to the best path. It is inspiring to me when students follow the path and finish their NIU journey with a degree.

How do you view your role in terms of campus safety?
My role is definitely multifaceted. I can use my knowledge and experience to elevate campus safety through programs such as Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) women’s self-defense and Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate (ALICE) active killer defense.

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Detective Larry Williams

Detective Larry Williams

Name: Larry Williams

Department: Dept. of Police and Public Safety

Title: Detective

First Year At NIU: 2011

What do you enjoy most about your job in the Dept. of Police and Public Safety?
The ability to give back to the community, while being a positive role module for students.

Why did you choose this as your career?
I believe the career chose me. I felt my disposition and what I feel to be quintessential traits of a police officer lined up with me being a positive member of the community.   

Why did you choose to serve at NIU?
As graduates of NIU, my wife and I decided to establish roots in the community. We felt it was fitting to return service to the University which has allowed us to succeed.

What do students ask you most often?
How much do you bench-press?

Who or what on campus inspires you?
The student body. I believe my job is to make sure they are educated in a safe environment that is conducive for learning.   

How do you view your role in terms of campus safety?
I believe every role in all public safety positions are vital to campus safety.

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Officer Emily Cavazos

Officer Emily CavazosName: Emily Cavazos

Department: Dept. of Police and Public Safety

Title: Police Officer

First Year At NIU: 2012.

What do you enjoy most about your job in the Dept. of Police and Public Safety?
The opportunity to have a consistent positive impact on the campus community and surrounding area.

Why did you choose this as your career?
I previously worked a career in Emergency Medical Services, responding to terrible situations after they already occurred.  I decided to pursue a career with the potential for preventing these situations from ever occurring.

Why did you choose to serve at NIU?
The opportunity to not only positively impact a community, but also prepare young people for the future by educating them on safe practices.

What do students ask you most often?
Whether I enjoy my job.

Who or what on campus inspires you?
My coworkers.

How do you view your role in terms of campus safety?
My role is to provide a safe environment for the faculty, staff, and students, as well as promote safe practices through education. 


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Officer Wey-ni A. Langdon

Officer Wey-ni A. LangdonName: Wey-ni A. Langdon

Department: Dept. of Police and Public Safety

Title: Police Officer

First Year At NIU: 2007

What do you enjoy most about your job in the Dept. of Police and Public Safety?
I enjoy helping people make better choices

Why did you choose this as your career?
I chose this career because of the diversity of job tasks while being able to serve as a public servant to the community

Why did you choose to serve at NIU?
I chose to work at NIU because it gives me an opportunity to help mold the world’s future leaders

What do students ask you most often?
Student often ask for directions to different locations

Who or what on campus inspires you?
What inspires me on campus is the sense of community

How do you view your role in terms of campus safety?
I view my role in terms of campus safety, first as a protector, then an educator


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