“Double Duck” Deshpande hired at DPS
The University of Oregon Department of Public Safety has hired as its new police captain Pete Deshpande, who has served at the Eugene Police Department since 1990, most recently as an acting captain and lieutenant.
Deshpande is a UO graduate twice over, with a bachelor's degree in psychology (1983) and a master of business administration in management (1986).
"The university is incredibly fortunate to get someone of Captain Deshpande's experience," UODPS Interim Police Chief Carolyn McDermed said. "Campus policing, especially in this community and on this campus, takes a special temperament, understanding and energy. Pete knows and loves this community, obviously has an excellent relationship with our local law enforcement partners, and will be able to be effective right away."
During his 22 years on the Eugene force, Deshpande worked a wide range of community policing issues, including the Occupy Eugene encampment earlier this year, a sweep of drug dealers out of the Park Blocks downtown, and strategy development for handling homeless and mentally ill residents.
Deshpande will lead the Safe Campus Team, develop a comprehensive community safety program, coordinate problem-solving police initiatives, help manage patrol operations and help lead the department's policing transition. He becomes the department's sixth certified police officer, with another five commissioned police officers in various stages of certification.
Desphande has had two children attend the school, his mother is a UO graduate and his father, Nilendra, is a professor emeritus in the physics department. He and his wife were even married on campus, at the Collier House.
"Interacting with students, like my own kids and their friends, gives me a fresh, positive perspective," Deshpande said. "So much of police work can be about seemingly unsolvable problems that it's energizing to help create a positive environment for students who are going to go on and do great things."
The department is in a multi-year transition to provide full police department services. By direction of the State Board of Higher Education, UODPS police officers do not carry firearms, though that issue will be discussed on campus during the coming school year and the UO administration will make a recommendation on the topic to the state board next spring.
Jamie Moffitt, the university’s vice president for finance and administration, is overseeing the hire of a new chief to lead the agency and is convening a police chief search committee. The department works in partnership with the Eugene Police Department for arrests, the transportation of suspects, armed responses and certain investigations.