Assistant Chief of Police seeks to revise perceptions

During his time with the XUPD, Eng hopes to bring new training opportunities to the officers and change the perception of the police.

Xavier University Police Department (XUPD) welcomed Dennis Eng as the first Deputy Director of Public Safety and Assistant Chief of Police on Feb. 11. Eng’s inaugural role will specifically focus on community outreach and officer training.

Prior to joining the Xavier family, Eng spent 22 years in the FBI, working mostly on violent crime and drug cases. 

“I worked 17 years on an FBI SWAT team, and then in the past few years I was the assistant team leader for this area,” he said.

Reminiscing on his past job, Eng described the unique places the FBI sent him over the globe. Namely, he worked as a legal attaché in Hong Kong during the 2008 Summer Olympics, traveled overseas to bring back U.S. prisoners and traveled across the U.S. during investigations.

While Eng could have stayed for longer in the FBI, he came across the open position at Xavier and decided it was time for him to test a new path.

“I was nearing my retirement from the FBI and I’m still young enough to pursue a different career, so I thought it was time that I try something else,” Eng said.

Eng also described two primary goals he would like to accomplish while at Xavier. First, as a result of his experience in the field, Eng plans to bring new training opportunities to the whole XUPD staff in order to help them better serve the community.

Secondly, Eng hopes that he, along with Police Chief Robert Warfel, can change the perception of how XUPD is viewed on campus.

“I’ve heard that in the past, the community itself has been apprehensive about approaching and talking to the officers here,” Eng said. “We are trying to change that perception a little bit, and we want to not only have a law enforcement component, but more of a service component. We want to provide whatever the students, faculty and staff need.”

Eng also saw the chance to work at Xavier as a welcome opportunity to settle down with his family.

He is married and has two kids, one of whom is about to begin college at Ohio University this fall.

Pictured above is Police Chief Robert Warfel swearing in Dennis Eng as the first Director of Public Safety and Assistant Chief of Police at Xavier.

“I’m personally from D.C., but my wife’s family lives in the area, so I was able to get back to this area and stay here with my family,” he said.

With a background in martial arts and experience boxing and grappling, Eng also brings tactical training and operational experience to Xavier.

Some of his hobbies include working out and shooting, and he is excited by the prospect of using the new HUB on campus to continue these interests.

Shortly followed by Eng, Jan Leonard was sworn in as XUPD’s newest officer on Feb. 27.

A graduate of Miami University, Leonard brings three years of experience from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. Both of these new members of XUPD are excited to begin their work for campus. 

“At the end of the day, I want the student population to know that if they have any questions about the department, or even any career advice… they are free to stop by and talk, the doors are always open,” Eng said.