Human Resources/Public Safety Hiring Initiative

Three members of the Human Resources/Public Safety Hiring InitiativeStaffing Up on Security

On the Front Lines:
UMB Champions of Excellence

Office of Administration and Finance

Hire, train, and deploy 30 security officers in 90 days. That’s what the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Human Resource Services (HRS) and Police Department (UMBPD) were tasked with in an effort to improve the security presence on campus and around the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).

“This was an unprecedented commitment and something we’d never done,” said Juliet Dickerson, MS, director of staffing and career services for HRS. “We’d never hired that many security officers at one time before, let alone that many in 90 days.”

This ambitious goal was set forth in a jointly funded agreement by the University’s Office of Administration and Finance in collaboration with UMMC and with an expected completion date of June 1, 2020. Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck. In the middle of the recruiting effort, HRS and UMBPD leaders were forced to quickly adjust the interview and selection process to incorporate remote interactions and interviews that were conducive to telework.

“We didn’t have much time to prepare,” Dickerson said. “When we left campus that last Friday [March 13], we were under the impression that we would be back to normal in two weeks, but six months later we’re still working remotely.”

Dickerson commended HRS colleague Raymond Taylor, MS, MA, senior staffing specialist, for managing the changes and taking the lead on the planning process. She also said the hiring effort would not have been successful without the help of everyone in HRS and UMBPD.

“It was a gargantuan effort, and the entire staffing team participated,” Dickerson says. “Everybody did interviews, and we checked in almost daily just to make tweaks and adjustments to the process.”

Thanks to the quick and decisive action by Dickerson, Taylor, and Tonya Bell, MS, acting deputy chief and assistant chief of police, along with their collaborative efforts with UMMC during this health crisis, Dawn M. Rhodes, MBA, chief business and finance officer and vice president, was moved to nominate the three as Champions of Excellence.

“After all of their effort, our goal was completed three weeks before the due date,” Rhodes said. “A true testament to collaboration.”

Those returning to UMB and UMMC will see the fruits of this collaboration firsthand as the new security officers patrol areas in their signature red shirts. Bell, who represented UMBPD in the hiring effort, said she was grateful to be recognized for making this cohort happen.

“It’s just very heartwarming and, honestly, very surprising,” Bell says. “This is generally business as usual for the police department. We put in a lot of effort to make sure we’re hiring the best people. Doing it remotely was a little challenging, but we’re happy everything worked out so well, and we’re really satisfied with the group we brought in.”

Dickerson echoed Bell’s sentiments.

“In Human Resources, we tend to never, ever recognize ourselves,” Dickerson says. “We have customer service in our blood, and we rarely stop and commemorate or even acknowledge our own successes. I’m extremely honored and proud of my team and our collaboration with UMBPD. I’ve worked with them for many years, and they are a phenomenal department.”

— Jena Frick

Juliet Dickerson, MS

Juliet Dickerson, MS
Director, Staffing, HR Service Center, and HR Information Systems, Human Resource Services

Raymond Taylor, MS, MA

Raymond Taylor, MS, MA
Senior Staffing and Career Specialist, Human Resource Services

Tonya Bell, MS

Tonya Bell, MS
Assistant Chief of Police, UMB Police Department