Humans of JCU: Chief Hurd



Danny Gibel talks to the head of the John Carroll University Police Department, Chief Brian Hurd

Danny Gibel , The Carroll News

The John Carroll University Police Department, or JCUPD, is part of the glue that holds our campus together. The department and its officers are on campus around the clock, tirelessly working to provide a safe environment to allow students and faculty to thrive.

The man in charge of it all is Chief Brian Hurd. Hurd began his position at John Carroll in 2008 and has loved it ever since. 

I started my career at a smaller college, and after working at a larger university, I wanted to get back to a more tight knit community and John Carroll was it,” said Hurd.

Hurd is also a supporter of the Jesuit influence here at Carroll.

The Jesuit influence is something that I think is attractive and it calls us to be better. It’s something for us to all live up to,” Hurd told The Carroll News. “That was really a draw for me to come to John Carroll because there is something meaningful about what we do here.”

Before arriving in University Heights, Hurd grew up in Mantua, Ohio and spent a lot of his time outdoors, working on farms and participating in 4-H clubs. He was an exchange student in Germany during high school, which led to an interest in international relations and political science. While Hurd was in college, he took on a campus security job which prompted him to become a Criminal Justice major, changing the trajectory of his professional career. After spending some time in other jobs, Hurd returned to campus policing and security where he has worked for the past 32 years.  

Typically when people think of a police chief, a person barking out orders from behind a desk may come to mind. Chief Hurd has proven otherwise during his time at John Carroll. With JCUPD being a small department that lacks the resources of a larger university, Hurd has a laundry list of responsibilities. This includes writing parking tickets, responding to medical emergencies, meetings with Campus Operations staff, controlling the flow of traffic around campus and updating campus security policies in relation to changes in laws and federal ordinances.

“We are a small department, so I’m doing all kinds of things all the time, really whatever the need is,” Hurd continued.

The dedication that Hurd has to his department is greatly admired by his officers. They know the time and effort that he puts in in order to make John Carroll’s campus a safe and inviting place for everyone.

“His dedication to protecting the JCU community is very genuine,” said JCUPD Sergeant Chris Hendricks. “He has always been available for both his officers and JCU, whether he’s on or off duty, he’s always on duty!”

As many students and faculty members are now aware, the biggest task at hand for Hurd and his officers is the parking situation on campus.  

“I am always attuned to issues with parking now more than ever,” Hurd said in an interview with The Carroll News. “That’s been more of my time this year than any other.”

While the Belvoir Lot was shut down ahead of the construction of the new fieldhouse, it has been sitting idle, leaving many students wondering why they cannot park there.

“We have to make it work now and it’s not an ideal situation for anybody, but we have to make it work because we’ve embarked on some really ambitious building projects which are great for the university,” Hurd stated. “We have to go through this to get there.”

Chief Hurd also spoke on improving the relationship between JCUPD officers and other members of the Carroll community. Hurd is aware that not everyone comes to Carroll having had an interaction with a police officer; some even having a negative one prior to their attendance.

“We work to be a counter to that and be as friendly, approachable and helpful as possible,” Hurd said. “We welcome students to just say hello, it’s a great thing.” 

Hurd wants the campus community to view his department as a helpful resource to them. For Hurd, one of the most gratifying aspects of the job is interacting with the JCU students and faculty. 

“I enjoy speaking with students, families, faculty and staff about safety, emergency response and related topics,” Hurd began. “I also enjoy engaging with students individually and with student groups about whatever is on their mind. I have been involved with the Staff Council and have been on three Immersion trips, which have all been very rewarding.”

When Hurd is not acting as the Chief of JCUPD, he is a husband, a father of two sons and a grandfather of two grandchildren. Hurd enjoys spending plenty of time outside, just as he did when he was younger. Bicycling, hiking, gardening and traveling take up much of his free time, as do the chickens that he is currently raising.

Chief Hurd cares deeply about the people of John Carroll and the safety of everyone that is a part of it. He understands the mission of the school and the importance of an on campus community.

“John Carroll being a mission-based, faith-based university really gives us something to rally around and it’s something that people that work and the students here come to believe in.”