Campus Safety bolstered by new hires
Author: Katy Swordfisk
Posted: December 16, 2019

Surrounded by family, friends and loved ones, two new police officers and two dispatchers joined Portland State University’s Campus Public Safety Office on Monday.

The ceremony also included a historic promotion.

“As we strive to create a climate of inclusion and equity I think it's important to call out that today we're promoting a woman into a command position for the first time,” said Interim President Stephen Percy.

 Officer Marcianne Jackson was promoted to sergeant. 

“We’ve been paying a lot of attention to Campus Public Safety at PSU,” Percy added. The university is implementing a new comprehensive plan designed to bolster campus safety. The plan announced in the fall includes enhanced training for officers, including de-escalation techniques, as well as a new student safety ambassador program.

“We’re getting a whole new cadre of students who will be learning about law enforcement and criminal justice who will be the eyes on the street and sort of alert us to any problems are coming,” Percy said. “We're very excited about that.”

The new safety ambassadors will be hired over the next two months.

Interim Chief of Police Joe Schilling offered the recruits advice as they embark on new careers.

“Treat people as you would want your family treated, and do the right thing for the right reasons,” Schilling said. “That’s what you need to do as police officers, that’s what you need to do as sergeants and that’s what you need to do as dispatchers. That’s what we need to do. Period.”

With respect to equity, transparency and human dignity, he added that CPSO needs to learn from the community so they can continually improve and keep the community on their side.

The newly-sworn officers will start basic training on Jan. 20, 2020 and graduate on May 8, 2020. They will then train in the field for 20 weeks before patrolling solo in September. 

 Here’s a little more about each member joining PSU’s Campus Public Safety Office:

Sgt. Marci Jackson — the first woman in a command position 

“This is an understatement, but she’s active in her community, she’s active in our community and on our campus,” said Sgt. Willie Halliburton.

Jackson is known on campus as Miss Marcy, Miss Jackson, Auntie or Grandma. A Portland native, she retired from the Portland Police Bureau after 23 years and joined PSU in October 2016.

Keenan Powell — Recruit Police Officer

Powell grew up in Northeast Portland and graduated from Grant High School. He’s spent the last 20 years in public safety and private security, most recently as a correctional deputy for Clark County Corrections.

Francisco Saldivar — Recruit Police Officer

Saldivar was born in California but has lived in Portland since sixth grade. A Marshall High School graduate, Saldivar has a history working in social work for Morrison Child & Family Services where he focused on at-risk Latino youth. Saldivar wanted to contribute to the community in a different way, and went back to school to focus on psychology, sociology and criminal law. He’s also spent the last 6 months as a court clerk at the Multnomah County Courthouse preparing for this position.

Jessica Dvorak — Dispatch

Born in Portland, Dvorak is currently enrolled in PSU’s master of technology and professional writing program. Her primary goal is to empower disenfranchised communities by changing how we communicate and how we use communication to address inequality. 

Ashley Whitten — Dispatch

Also a naive Portland, Whitten attended Oregon State University. After graduation, she joined the U.S. Coast Guard and served in Kodiak, Alaska and Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Photos by Christopher Broderick