SU Partners With
Community for Public Safety
When Mike Sletten arrived at Seattle University
almost 25 years ago, the university
neighborhood was half the size it is today
with twice the crime problems. This only
fueled Sletten's mission to create a safer
campus and surrounding neighborhood.
Sletten says he sees his job as partnering with
neighbors in Squire Park, other institutions
and organizations and police officers in the
East Precinct to promote public safety. He
shares how he has achieved this and more.
How did you work with partners in the
community who 25 years ago faced such
It takes communication, patience and
perseverance. I came to recognize it involves
a lot of understanding and hands-on involvement.
You also have to pay attention
and address situations before they worsen.
Do you distinguish between campus and
We're not drawing a line in the sand. If a
problem is impacting our campus, it's also
impacting the neighborhood. We have to be
proactive good neighbors and pay attention
to what occurs off campus. Sometimes those
who are committing crimes are apprehended
because we saw what was happening. It
might be graffiti incidents, a car prowl in
progress or a business being burglarized.
We create a presence whether it's on foot,
on bike or in a vehicle such as our Night
Hawk, which we use to escort SU community
members to and from campus at night.
Our escort and perimeter safety patrols have
a good neighbor block-watch impact and
deter incidents such as robberies, vehicle
break-ins and thefts near the campus.
When do those who live in the neighborhood
contact your office?
Neighbors do call our campus Public Safety
office (206-296-5990) when students off campus
aren't behaving appropriately. It could be
3:30 in the morning or 3:30 in the afternoon.
Those reports we send directly to Darrell
Goodwin, our associate dean of students.
What's the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Creating and sustaining a safe campus
and safe neighborhood is my joy and my
professional passion. I take great satisfaction
in working with neighborhood representatives
and the East Precinct Crime Prevention
Coalition. The work and the change
the coalition has accomplished have been
especially rewarding for me, in contributing
to both our neighbors and the university.