New chief on deck

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

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.