Archive for Thursday, November 27, 1997


November 27, 1997


The chief of the campus police force will be taking over as director of the public safety department.

Ralph Oliver, associate director of the Kansas University department of public safety since 1994, will take over the post of department director, which was vacated by Jim Denney.

Denney, who became director of public safety in 1993, announced on Tuesday that he will take a job as director of emergency communications with Douglas County.

Oliver, 47, also the chief of KU police, will take over for Denney Dec. 11, university officials announced Wednesday.

"I'm honored that I was chosen to replace Jim Denney," Oliver said Wednesday. "It's kind of gratifying that the university would select someone from within its own ranks to take his place."

Denney's last day is Dec. 10.

"KU is fortunate to have a highly qualified and experienced person in Ralph Oliver to appoint to this important position," said Rodger Oroke, university director of facilities management and Oliver's supervisor. "I anticipate a smooth transition."

As director, Oliver will oversee KU's police department, its building-security department and the university's emergency communication division.

Because the emergency dispatch systems for the county and university serve as back-up systems for each another, Denney will still be working with KU.

Beginning in 1970, Oliver spent four years in the U.S. Coast Guard. From 1974 to 1977, he worked as a patrol officer for Rainbow Mental Health Center, Kansas City, Kan.

In 1977, Oliver joined the KU Medical Center police force as a patrol officer and went on to become assistant director of police. In 1984, Oliver was named assistant director of police on the Lawrence campus.

After a 1994 reorganization, he was named associate director of public safety.

Oliver, a Kansas City, Kan., native, attended Kansas City's Donnelly College. He has attended training sessions operated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.

In Lawrence, Oliver was a member of the Lawrence

Alliance and served on the advisory board of the Roger Hill Volunteer Center. He is a member of the board of directors of the Central State Law Enforcement Executives Development Seminars and a volunteer coach for the Lawrence Parks and Recreation department.

A reception to honor Denney will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 9 at the KU Adams Alumni Center.

-- Matt Gowen's phone message number is 832-7222. His e-mail address is

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