New UWPD position bridges safety gap for off-campus students
UW-Madison Police have a new officer position that will provide a link for off-campus students and safety resources in the community.
UWPD announced Lema Hernandez as the Downtown Liaison Police Officer on Thursday. His position begins March 1.
“I feel like this is a role that I’ve been preparing for my entire life,” said Hernandez. “Community policing is a true passion of mine, and I can’t wait to start this new journey and work with our off-campus community.”
In October, the department announced plans to create the position that will be serving the off-campus student population, particularly in the Langdon and State Street areas. Hernandez will also be serving as a link between UWPD and the Madison Police Department response in that area.
Hernandez will be providing advocacy, building relationships and promote safety for off-campus students.
UWPD spokesman Marc Lovicott says the position was not in reaction to Madison Police Department’s decision to end their Langdon Street Neighborhood Officer position. He says Hernandez will help fill some of the gaps the departure created.
Hernandez will be transitioning from his current patrol position to his new role over the next couple of weeks. He has been with the department for nearly four years and is actively involved with several organizations including Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Special Olympics.