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Dennis Nolan

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To Serve and Protect
Since 1997, Dennis Nolan has been dedicated to his role as Chief of Public Safety. He supervises 10 sworn police officers, 12 part-time security guards, and 10 cadets.

Working at a college is different from any other type of law enforcement environment I’ve been in before. Previously, I worked as a Chicago police officer for nine years and a watch commander for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad for nearly 15 years.

Making arrests was a major role in previous employment. Now, arrests aren’t a major responsibility as Public Safety serves the community, works with academia and interacts with students. We don’t have a fire chief on campus so I also serve as the top fire prevention official. People probably don’t realize that Public Safety is responsible for ensuring the proper storage and disposal of hazardous waste from the biology and chemistry labs. Prevention is a key aspect in my job. I’m continually updating the emergency plan and keeping abreast of different government regulations.

Part of my profession is being prepared for anything. Over the years I’ve investigated high profile incidents, such as the robbery of the bookstore at the Des Plaines campus. I’ve also seen two cars pulled out of Lake Oakton on separate occasions.

Over the years, I’ve been proud to help oversee the purchase of state of the art security cameras, recording equipment and motion detectors that enhance security at Oakton’s campuses. Public Safety has a budget in excess of $1 million and that demonstrates security is a priority. It’s rewarding to be part of a department that may be small but enjoys resources that other institutions envy. 

Dennis Nolan
Chief of Public Safety


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