April 5, 2023

Dear USC Community,

Over these past few weeks since I joined USC, I’ve found the university to be a place that offers boundless opportunity and support for our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. You can’t help feeling inspired on the bustling, creative, and spirited campuses here. 

I also recognize that I joined USC at a pivotal time. Throughout 2021, students, faculty, staff, and neighbors came together to provide input as part of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Community Advisory Board’s (CAB) review of public safety on our campuses. 

Last year, the hard work of implementing the 45 recommendations from that effort began in earnest. The very first recommendation was a significant one – it challenged us to reimagine public safety through a new lens. From it came the ONE USC Safety Vision, which distilled what the university heard from so many voices:

“The ONE USC Safety Vision imagines a USC where everyone feels safe, respected, and protected from crime, while recognizing that this can be achieved only by addressing the diverse experiences and needs of all USC students, faculty, staff, and neighbors.”

The ONE USC Safety Vision is a powerful reminder that our community members come from diverse backgrounds and experiences and that USC must be proactive in ensuring that all students, faculty, staff, neighbors, and campus visitors feel safe. It very much aligns with my own philosophy, honed from my years of community policing experience, that we must provide a safe, secure, and welcoming environment that upholds the values of trust, inclusion, respect, and belonging. 

Recently, students, faculty, and staff from across USC were asked to express what the ONE USC Safety Vision means to them. Their responses are truly inspiring! When you have a moment, check out the video we created here.

I also want to assure you that under my leadership, DPS will remain committed to ensuring all 45 CAB recommendations are implemented. This is a top priority because DPS must reflect the communities it serves as much as possible. 

I am heartened by the implementation work that’s occurred already – by our leadership team and our staff. We’re currently working through several recommendations including ones that deal with differentiating DPS from the Los Angeles Police Department, better communicating DPS services, and developing educational materials about the department (No. 32, No. 37, and No. 40). Our progress on these and all recommendations is reflected on the CAB report implementation page

Public safety is part of an important national conversation, and I want our department to be at the forefront of what universities can be when they collaborate with their internal and external communities. To achieve that, we will ask for your collaboration and partnership to guide our way forward.

Our first opportunity to connect as a community will be at noon on April 13 in the Edison Auditorium in Hoffman Hall. I’ll talk about these issues and answer your questions, which you can submit by email in advance to: comcom@usc.edu or at the auditorium the day of the event.

Thank you for welcoming me. My door is open, I’m ready to listen to you, and I’m committed to making the ONE USC Safety Vision a reality for all. Fight On!

Chief Lauretta Hill
Assistant Vice President and
Chief for Department of Public Safety