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New Chief on Deck

Chief Bruce Borkovich brings drug enforcement background to Ferris Department of Public Safety

by Published: Sep 18, 2013

New Chief on Campus: Department of Public Saftey Police Cheif Bruce Borkovich was selected and hired in May. Borkovich has experience as a Michigan conservation officer and worked on the Mt. Pleasant narcotics team. Photo By: Eric Trandel | Photo Editor

New Chief on Campus: Department of Public Saftey Police Cheif Bruce Borkovich was selected and hired in May. Borkovich has expe­ri­ence as a Michigan con­ser­va­tion offi­cer and worked on the Mt. Pleasant nar­cotics team. Photo By: Eric Trandel | Photo Editor

Starting a new job can come with headaches, but the new Department of Public Safety Police Chief Bruce Borkovich knows that he isn’t doing any­thing alone.

“We have some excel­lent and highly pro­fes­sional offi­cers here at Ferris. I’ve only seen great things from them thus far,” Borkovich said.

He noted that his fel­low offi­cers have helped Borkovich seam­lessly integrate.

Borkovich was appointed the Ferris State Department of Public Safety Police Chief after more than six months of search­ing for a per­ma­nent replacement.

He assumed his new title in May and spent the sum­mer accli­mat­ing to the new position.

“I think I was a job fit for what they were look­ing for, I have a wide vari­ety of expe­ri­ence as a teacher, coach and as a Michigan con­ser­va­tion offi­cer,” Borkovich said.

Before the retire­ment of for­mer Chief Marty Bledsoe, a seven per­son search com­mit­tee was formed to find a suit­able replace­ment. The com­mit­tee included a wide range of rep­re­sen­ta­tion across the cam­pus that included Ferris State stu­dent and stu­dent gov­ern­ment mem­ber, Austin Edmond, accord­ing to the Vice President of Administration and Finance Jerry Scoby.

Cook was seri­ously con­sid­ered as well for the vacant posi­tion, and he served as the police chief dur­ing the 2012–13 Spring semes­ter on an interim basis prior to Borkovich’s arrival. As two pro­fes­sion­als in search of the same job title, Borkovich doesn’t see any poten­tial strife between the officers.

“He’s a pro­fes­sional and I fully expect to have a great rela­tion­ship,” Borkovich said.

Captain Jim Cook has reas­sumed his pre­vi­ous role as the assis­tant police chief and has helped bring the new hire up to speed.

“It’s a slow and an ongo­ing process, as things come up I will cer­tainly fill him in,” Captain Jim Cook said.

Drugs are a part of any com­mu­nity, a fact noted by Borkovich, although he does not believe he was brought here to mit­i­gate any numer­i­cal data.

Over the past two years, there has been an increase of 21 per­cent in vio­la­tions of a con­trolled sub­stance on Ferris State grounds. One hun­dred and eleven were cited in the 2012 school year as com­pared to 90 instances in the pre­vi­ous year. Western Michigan University, which has twice the stu­dent den­sity of Ferris State at roughly 25,000 stu­dents, has had 116 drug law vio­la­tions in the same time frame.

Both Cook and Borkovich explained that mar­i­juana was the pri­mary cul­prit. No spe­cific break­down in the types of drugs found was available.

Prior to his arrival on cam­pus, Borkovich worked with a nar­cotics team in Mt. Pleasant and even­tu­ally became an assis­tant team leader.

“Any town in Michigan has drug issues, there are no areas that are void of it, hope­fully I will be a resource to fel­low offi­cers here,” Borkovich said.

Soon he will be sit­ting in a class­room amongst a much younger stu­dent pop­u­la­tion, a fact Borkovich is eager to acknowledge.

Borkovich is enrolled in the crim­i­nal jus­tice master’s pro­gram as a con­di­tion of employ­ment accord­ing to Scoby and will start classes next January.

“I’m a life­long learner, so it isn’t drudgery or pun­ish­ment. Anything I can do to make myself bet­ter is a good thing for me and the depart­ment,” Borkovich said.