By Chelsea Collins, Staff Writer
Many new changes have come to the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) including a new Chief of Public Safety. Brock Caton, previous Sargent of Public Safety, has jumped into the roll of Interim Chief for the 2013-2014 school year.
Brock is hopeful that the interim, meaning temporary or provisional, position will only last for one school year. “Obviously due to the decrease in enrollment, when Ted Blais took the job in Skowhegan as the Chief of Skowhegan P.D., the directors role needed to be filled. so he asked me if I would do it and I said I would. So I pretty much have it for the long hall until the next fiscal year which begins on July 1st. Sometime this spring, hopefully, they will tell me that we are doing better budget wise and they can post the position.”
When the budget improves and the Chief’s position is available, Chief Caton said that he plans on applying for the job, “I have already been it the position for a year, so I might as well apply for it. I love the job, I do miss doing the hands on stuff with the CAs, but I’ve done it for a year and it is a good professional position.” Caton also has a plan B if he is not hired for the position, “Worst case scenario if I don’t get the position I still have the job as Sargent, so I’m not too worried about it.”
There are many responsibilities that Caton has taken on as Interim Chief, “ I have to manage, what I call, the operational budget, which includes uniforms, training, and equipment. I am in charge of writing the annual campus security report, which has to get posted October 1st every year. It is a big 47 page report which includes the crime statistics. I also monitor all of the officers training. I also take part in a lot of meetings,” said Caton.
Working with other department is also a major part of Caton’s job description. “I am part of the University Leadership Council, it is a council that includes anyone who is the head of a department or budget, per say, we meet with the President and the Presidents Council to try and generate new ideas going forward on the future of the university. I am always meeting with Brian Ufford and Bob Peterson to work on improving the working relationship with Residents Life and the Center for Student Development,” said Caton.
Caton spends most of his time monitoring the other officers, whether it be training or “giving the officers what they need to do their jobs,” said Caton. Caton is responsible for 3 full time officers ad 15 part time officers. Officer Scott Jennings, a new member of the Public Safety team, describes Caton as being a leader. “ When I think of a leader, I think of someone who does what they ask of others to do. I think Brock does that well. He has very clear expectations of what he expects from people which isn’t always the case in law enforcement,” said Jennings.
Jennings also gave insight on what it is like to work with Caton, “ Brock is a very animated person, so he is very entertaining to be around. He has a lot of energy, so if you ever come in feeling down, he is the person that can get you going and excited about being at work.”
Caton spends a large part of his day at work, but when he isn’t at work he likes to spend his days with his wife and kids. “ Well I have two kids. My daughter Amara will be turning 5 on October 14th and my son Lennox is 16 months old. My wife and I have been married since 2007. I hang out with my family, that’s what I do. Pretty much when I get home I watch the kids and we have dinner. While my wife does her homework I try my best to keep the kids out of trouble,” said Caton.