Marquette's public safety department is becoming a police department this week.

Michael Lovell, Marquette's president, said"The safety and security of our campus community is of the utmost importance, and I know the Marquette University Police Department will continue to serve us at a high level and in ways that are consistent with our mission and Guiding Values."

He said the university staff had been "extensively researching the future of safety and security" at Marquette, adding that he recently signed an agreement with state Attorney General Brad Schimel that officially establishes the department.

"This action has taken place after a year of gathering and considering intensive feedback from many of you, and I thank you for your thoughtful, constructive insight," he said.

The transition to a police department will occur over the summer, he said, to accommodate the necessary officer training and certification requirements.

The university will have about 35 commissioned officers in place by the start of the 2015-2016 academic year, Lovell said, and Chief Paul Mascari will be sworn in the morning of May 1. He is expected to swear in 19 current Department of Public Safety officers later that day.