Originally published August 27, 2010 at 10:22a.m., updated August 27, 2010 at 01:57p.m.

Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin takes job at KU Athletics

Lawrence police chief Ron Olin, center, smiles as he is greeted by friends and co-workers, including retired Lawrence Police Capt. Dan Affalter, left, during Olin’s retirement party August 26, 2010, at Maceli’s.

Lawrence police chief Ron Olin, center, smiles as he is greeted by friends and co-workers, including retired Lawrence Police Capt. Dan Affalter, left, during Olin’s retirement party August 26, 2010, at Maceli’s.


Lawrence’s retiring police chief will begin work next month at Kansas Athletics as the director of security/internal controls.

Retiring police chief Olin to head up security for Kansas Athletics

Ron Olin will retire from the Lawrence police force next month, and then he'll work under Lew Perkins as head of security at Kansas Athletics.

Ron Olin will retire as Lawrence’s police chief on Aug. 31 and will begin work at KU on Sept. 1.

In the newly created position, Olin will evaluate a wide range of Kansas Athletics’ internal controls, policies and procedures; identify weaknesses that may put Kansas Athletics at a security, regulatory or reputational risk; and suggest improvements where appropriate.

“Ron will advise Kansas Athletics in security-related risk management and security for event-management activities,” athletics director Lew Perkins said in a release. “He will also advise us in our efforts to ensure the highest level of safety for student-athletes, staff and personnel.”

Jim Marchiony, a KU associate athletics director, said that Kansas Athletics felt the need to create the new position and that Olin was a perfect fit.

Though Kansas Athletics has had a bumpy ride over the past few months with a ticket scandal grabbing headlines, Marchiony said Olin’s hire didn’t have anything to do with that situation.

“Lew had talked to Ron off and on for probably close to a couple of years,” Marchiony said. “Lew told him, ‘If you ever do decide to retire, let’s talk.’”

Olin served as Lawrence’s police chief from December 1987 until his retirement this summer. He will make $115,000 a year in his new position, just slightly more than his city salary of $112,863.

He said he was interested in the job because of discussions with Kansas Athletics officials in the past, and because it allowed him to stay in the city he loves.

“I’ve been recruited for many police chief positions, but they all entailed leaving Lawrence,” Olin said. “I love Lawrence, I love KU, and this is a new chapter in my career that keeps me here.”

He has taught several courses at KU, and has earned a doctorate in developmental psychology. He said he looked forward to bringing his skills as a police leader to the athletics department, and hoped to be able to work on a wide variety of issues from student-athlete security to helping Kansas Athletics become aware of issues relating to crime in Lawrence.

Olin said he had been honored to serve in the police department and the city, and called the police chief job “a blessing from heaven.”

“To be able to grow up in a city and then to become the police chief in the same city is almost unheard of,” he said. “The fact that I have an opportunity to stay in Lawrence with a new opportunity after a 39-year career. ... I had to make some serious decisions and I think I made the right decision.”


sevenyearhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

First thing, get Tyshawn Taylor to stop running his mouth on Twitter ...

Second thing, keep the basketball players from screwing with the football team.

Third thing, keep the media out of Loo's exercise room at home.

Guy's gonna be real freaking busy!!!

Rivethead 7 years, 9 months ago

If he has to prioritize, I'd say preventing the next ticket scandal is much higher than preventing the next football/basketball rumble.

Sam Constance 7 years, 9 months ago

Sorry fellas, but I think you both glossed over the most important reason for Olin's hiring--the ticket scalping scandal.

And honestly, in the grand scheme of things, I'm far more embarrassed by such a glaring lack of control over the goings-on of ticket office that cost the university MILLIONS of dollars than I am by 18-20 year-old kids being...well, 18-20 year old kids.

It blows my mind that there would be fans for whom the events of last fall would be fresher in memory than the most recent Summer of Scandal. I guess there is no overestimating the power of unfounded distaste for Taylor...

jcepp 7 years, 9 months ago

I should think the first priority is ensuring that the aptly named Lew Perkins isn't funding his retirement by taking a bite out of every dollar that flows through Kansas Athletics.

jcsmith 7 years, 9 months ago

Key words were in the thrid paragraph

"reputational risk"

Who gives a poop about right and wrong. OUR REPUTATION IS AT RISK HERE.......

gardenjay 7 years, 9 months ago

Sure, this guy taught some courses at KU as an adjunct. Where is his money coming from now? KUAD. KUAD.

KU has a lack of control of the direction of KU and its disproportionately powerful & parasitic corporation KUAD. Do you think KU had a say in this hire? It would help if they did. This way we could help ensure power-sharing and maybe these guys would act in the best interest of the University despite their money coming from an entertainment corporation.

Mark Wooden 7 years, 9 months ago

This is a waste of institutional money.

dmb40fan 7 years, 9 months ago

ah yes, while the estimated $1-2 million dollars of loss in the ticket scandal wasn't a loss of revenue for the university. I praise the university for trying to put steps or processes in place to prohibit another incident like this happening. It happens at Kentucky, and I for one don't want to be grouped with Kentucky in scams and fraud.

Scott Perlmutter 7 years, 9 months ago

Nice to see the police chief who reigned over police abuse and scandals take on a new role at KU Athletics. Wow. Doesn't anyone else remember the police pepper spray incidents of KU students carrying goal posts? Doesn't anyone remember the national headlines for police intimidation and use of unnecessary force from LPD?

FreddyinLA 7 years, 9 months ago

I hope all 3 of you out there in the private sector are OK with paying this guy $125/year along with his police pension which is probable also over 100K. If Lou was really interested in internal controls he would have hired an Internal Auditor whose job is to identify and propose recommendations for internal control and separation of duties weaknesses. Handing out traffic citations and eating donuts is not the best background for what is needed. The growing police state of America knows no boundaries.

Just another Lew cronie being overpaid with public money to promote loyalty to whatever the heck he is trying to accomplish.

It is becoming more and more difficult writing a check the WEF each year.

Go ahead clones, give me your typical reaction to my posts by insulting my mother in 3…2….1. As you can see I’m not going away.

dynamitehawk 7 years, 9 months ago

Your mamma's so black that when she gets out of the car, her oil light comes on.

P.S. I do not disagree with your comment. I always take an invitation on your mamma jokes, though.

Sam Constance 7 years, 8 months ago

Well, I don't know your mother, nor would I insult someone's mother over a message board disagreement, but I must point out that your argument would be a lot easier to swallow if you had a better alternative theory for Olin's hire than "to promote loyalty to whatever the heck he is trying to accomplish".

The fact that you list a police chief's background as "handing out traffic citations and eating donuts" also calls your credibility (or at least your neutrality/objectivity) into question. Having never worked in a police department, my knowledge is somewhat based on conjecture, but I would hazard a guess that a police chief's work centers a lot more around administrative decision-making than you presume. But again, I'm guessing to a certain extent...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there isn't a better hire available somewhere, but it seems like you've predetermined that this isn't the right one, but don't seem to have much support to back it up.

One other question--I'm not sure why you think Olin's pension would be covered by anything but the pension fund that is already set up for the LPD...wouldn't it be covered by the KPF?

gardenjay 7 years, 9 months ago

Actually, FreddyinLA, I am glad you are speaking out, and those are my worries as well. Integrity is a willingness to forget where your paycheck comes from (rare). A cynic would say this is almost by definition a young person and non-conformist, not a person at the top. Why would someone at the top hire a non-conformist?

Why is someone at the top even allowed to hire their own oversight? This is not a survivable model of governance.

Instead, I would like to see Chancellor Gray hire someone to look over the ethics of the KUAD corporation, and if they don't like that just take the jayhawk away from them. From this article, and Freddy's take, it does read like KUAD is little kid with a whole bunch of power: not a good idea.

LibertyHawk84 7 years, 8 months ago

I agree with FreddyinLA, sounds like just another dead-weight position in the department. What they need is a strong internal audit department and strong CFO reporting directly to the Chancellor. A police chief doesn't know anything about internal accounting controls.

His base pay is probably tip of the iceberg. Probably gets a couple cars to drive for him and his family, and even a bigger state pension and all kinds of other benefits.

How many six figure salaries does the KU athletic department have to support "amateur" athletics?.

Kent Wells 7 years, 8 months ago

What has it come to when your athletic department employees, basketball teams, and football teams are kicking up enough nonsense that you have to employ someone on staff with Law Enforcement experience as something other that "other additional skills preferred but not required"???

HawkTronic 7 years, 8 months ago

Please, please do a comparison of KU's administrative costs (as a percentage of total budget, not inlcuding coaching salaries) vs other schools. I bet we are higher than anybody in the country. Most donors give money to help athletes win championships, not to build adminstrative empires. I want to hear Kansas Athletics comment on that.

gardenjay 7 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Hawk Tronic. Sucn an article is sorely needed.

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