The top two leaders of the University Police Department will leave their posts next week.
UPD Chief RaShall Brackney will step down from her position Jan. 18, after less than three years at GW. Commander Bessie Burrus, a UPD veteran who has been a member of the department since 1988, will serve as interim chief, according to a University release Monday.
“I thank Dr. Brackney for her service to the George Washington University Police Department,” Darrell Darnell, the senior associate vice president for safety and security, said in the release. “Under the leadership of Interim Chief Burrus, GWPD will continue to provide excellent safety and security to our campus community.”
Assistant Chief Michael Glaubach, who has been with UPD since 2000, will also leave the department next week, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar confirmed.
“In consultation with the senior associate vice president for safety and security, the chief and assistant chief decided it was the right time to step down from their positions,” Csellar said in an email.
Brackney was appointed UPD chief in May 2015 after spending 15 years as a commander in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. She took over a department reeling from complaints of a hostile work environment after several former officers filed discrimination lawsuits against the department.
During her tenure, Brackney focused on improving a strained relationship with students and the surrounding neighborhood, including buying a fleet of segways to encourage more interaction between officers and the community and launching a digital ad campaign to encourage student safety. But a proposed UPD student advisory board, designed to give students a voice in department policies, never started.
In response to a growing emphasis on campus sexual assault, the department began separating reports of sexual abuses from sexual assaults in 2016. A former admitted student accused Brackney of violating Title IX policies in a federal lawsuit alleging the University had rescinded her admission after a domestic dispute with a male peer.
Brackney made professional development a main goal in her tenure, promoting officers from within the department to senior positions, but complaints about officer morale, long an issue in UPD, persisted.
Students and one officer criticized UPD policies requiring police to send students to the hospital for drinking relatively small amounts of alcohol last year. The department also came under scrutiny after officers entered District House common rooms without notice or cause.