Nine officers within UNC Charlotte’s Police and Public Safety Department have received promotions, following a rigorous, complex process. This is the largest number of promotions announced at the same time in the department’s history.
Police Chief Jeff Baker presided over a ceremony that recognized the advancement of Lewis Bowman and Sarah Smyre to the rank of captain. Sergeants John Falk, Richard Gundacker and Stephanie Klein were promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
“They have performed exceptionally in their careers and are well-respected throughout the community,” said Baker. “I’m proud of their many noted accomplishments while serving at UNC Charlotte.”
Bowman will lead the Patrol Operations Division, which includes patrol squads, SWAT operations, field training, criminal investigations, community policing, UNC Charlotte Center City security and safeguarding the light rail platform.
Smyre will lead the Support Services Division, which includes the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) accreditation, Clery reporting, records management, recruiting, training, security cameras, emergency communications, property and evidence control, fleet management and special events.
Falk will lead the Criminal Investigations Division, responsible for the management of all criminal investigations of the campus community. He also will assist in threat assessment evaluations, special information on criminal activity and safety-based outreach for off-campus communities.
Gundacker will serve as the night shift watch commander. Additionally, he is the UNC Charlotte SWAT team commander and will attend North Carolina Law Enforcement Specialized Firearms Instructor School. He also will coordinate specialized trainings for SWAT operators and high-risk rapid response officers and will serve in a new position as the rapid response/relief supervisor. He will continue to serve as the University liaison to CATS, overseeing light rail platform safety.
Klein will serve as the department’s CALEA accreditation manager. In addition to those associated duties, Klein will audit the annual UNC Charlotte Clery Report and will serve as the Emergency Management coordinator.
Additional promotions include officers Mark Litjes, Earl Smith, David Quackenbush and Michael Hahn to the rank of sergeant. They will serve as patrol supervisors, which includes duties such as directing officers in their daily duties, ensuring the needs of the campus community are met and ensuring compliance with departmental directives. A fifth sergeant will be promoted in the upcoming weeks.
“These officers possess a wealth of experience and will continue to provide exemplary service to our campus community,” said Baker.
Photo: Chief Baker, center, first row, with Deputy Chief Huffman, Lt. Klein, Capt. Smyre, Lt. Falk, Sgt. Hahn and Sgt. Quackenbush; back row, Lt. Gundacker, Capt. Bowman, Sgt. Litjes and Sgt. Smith.