Dedicated to Service and Protection
North Carolina native Eric Boyce became UNC Asheville’s new Police Chief in August. He brings a wealth of law enforcement knowledge to the position, from serving as a park ranger to working on street drug enforcement units. Most recently, Boyce was a member of the North Carolina School of the Arts Police Department, where he served for 12 years.
At UNC Asheville, Chief Boyce is placing a special emphasis on personal attention and community building. His focus includes creating new partnerships with programs and departments, active listening to students’ needs, and maintaining an environment of trust through demonstrating respect to all those the Campus Police serves.
Following are some excerpts from a recent conversation with Chief Boyce.
What brought you to UNC Asheville?
When the position was posted, I took a close look at the university. The School of the Arts is the smallest school in the UNC System and UNC Asheville is also a small school. And both schools have their unique identifiers—the School of the Arts is an arts conservatory and UNC Asheville is a premier liberal arts institution. I felt that this would be a great place for me.
It’s been a very smooth transition. The family-type atmosphere is the same here. And I am finding that the students, faculty and staff are very friendly and very receptive to interactions and collaborations with the Police Department.
What is your plan for your first year?
The plan for the upcoming year is to provide superior law-enforcement service to the community. We want to continue building those relationships with the community through effective communications and collaborations.
For instance, we have started a residence hall officers program. Police officers have increased their presence in the residence halls. We’ve let Residence Life know that we’d like to be more involved in the programming and getting that safety message out to students.
How is the UNC Asheville Police Department organized and what services does it provide?
The basic structure is chief, assistant chief and sergeants who are responsible for squads. Each squad works 12-hour shifts. There are 13 officers total.
The most important service is that we are on patrol 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We are always here; we are always on patrol. We provide safety escorts, vehicle and building unlocks, vehicle jump-starts, and special events parking and policing. We also do full investigations on criminal activities and report those to the state.
Tell us a little about yourself. What do you like do when you are off-duty?
When I’m not at work I enjoy riding my motorcycle with my father, who is also a motorcyclist. It’s a good time to bond with him. I also enjoy golf, but I haven’t played in Asheville yet. I hope to get out before all the leaves get on the course. Although, I hit my ball into the woods a lot so I’m used to going through leaves to find it!