RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION
Reporting to the Associate Vice President for University Safety, the Chief of Police (Chief) leads a large multi-location police department that provides comprehensive law enforcement services to the university’s campuses throughout Connecticut. The Chief leads State of Connecticut certified police officers within a CALEA-accredited department and is responsible for providing leadership in promoting values-driven policing that combines progressive public service with successful strategies and collaboration among university community members and departments, and that reflects an understanding of how both large and small university communities interact within their respective campuses and among each other. The Chief is also responsible for leading a multi-location security services department that protects and enhances security at UConn’s facilities, is a visible and identifiable deterrent to negative behavior, and that serves as a customer service ambassador to the community at large. Additionally, the Chief must have the ability to evaluate and address issues from a state-wide perspective and understand the department’s role in multiagency endeavors. The Chief serves as the chief law enforcement officer and is responsible for protecting life and property, preserving peace, maintaining order, and directing the enforcement of all federal, state, and local laws within the jurisdiction of the university; develops strategic goals and objectives for the UConn Police Department to include positioning the department as a responsive police department that is recognized broadly as committed to the safety and care of the university community; provides direction and guidance in alignment with department and university mission and values serving as the framework by which all security activities, patrol operations, investigations, and event management are planned, organized and executed; and develops and implements policies and procedures to ensure the health, safety, and security of students, faculty, staff, and visitors, including patients at UConn Health. The Chief provides leadership for a staff of 117, including 86 sworn officers.
Additional position responsibilities include:
- Provides leadership to staff responsible for the implementation of department goals and objectives. Engages in the recruitment of a diverse police department, and oversees ongoing staff development and training, as well as staffing, hiring, firing, evaluation, and promotion.
- Responsible for managing and appropriately allocating the police department budget; analyzes, monitors, and evaluates staffing utilization against budgeted staffing base.
- Responsible for building and maintaining relationships with the Connecticut State Police including resident troopers and also with local police departments in the cities of Hartford, Farmington, Stamford, Waterbury, and the town of Groton.
- Collaborates with other divisional leaders, including the Fire Chief, Director of Emergency Management, and Emergency Communications Manager, to carry out effective, unified responses to planned and unplanned events and community needs; issues crime and emergency alerts as appropriate; acts as the responsible authority for the department in emergency response situations; and participates in supporting university-wide emergency response efforts.
- Serves as liaison to other external law enforcement agencies and neighborhood security associations; handles all media reporting related to law enforcement matters; represents the department with internal constituencies, including the board of trustees, and external constituencies, including legislators.
- Analyzes crime trends and incident reports; develops program utilization of personnel to offset the trends; maintains department crime statistics, including the compiling and filing of the annual security and fire safety report to the Department of Education (Clery Act).
QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a minimum of twelve years of progressive policing experience and training (FBI, state, general) in law enforcement, including at least six years serving at a command level rank with diverse responsibilities including assignments in administration or supervision of special programs in a department with similar size and complexity to the University of Connecticut are required. A master’s degree from an accredited institution or a terminal degree such as a Ph.D. or law degree, participation and completion of an executive-level law enforcement training course such as the FBI national academy, and experience working at and commanding police personnel in a university setting are preferred. The ideal candidate will possess a demonstrated commitment to, and past experiences with, diversity, equity and inclusion efforts both within a department and the broader community; the ability to build and maintain effective working relationships with senior administration, deans, students, faculty, staff, parents, governmental authorities, community and municipal groups and the public; the ability to understand the complexities of student life and the needs/issues of the campus communities; and the vision and ability to anticipate and adapt to, at times, a changing environment while maintaining the safety and order of the university. Candidates must possess and maintain authority through Connecticut General Statute 10a-156b “to arrest and present before a competent authority any person for any offense committed within his precinct” and must be able to obtain and maintain Connecticut P.O.S.T. Police Officer Certification including having the ability to operate police equipment and weapons and also demonstrate physical and psychological fitness. In addition, candidates are subject to selection standards under Section 7-294-a-e of the Connecticut General Statutes and the regulations of the Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training Council, which require the ability to successfully pass a background investigation including a polygraph and psychological examination.
Additional position qualifications include:
- Ability to effectively lead, engage and develop policies pertaining to law enforcement at the University of Connecticut.
- Superior interpersonal skills; as well as strong verbal, written, and technological skills and aptitude.
- Demonstrated knowledge of issues and best practices in a university police services environment.
- The ability to possess and retain a current valid U.S. Motor Vehicle Operator license.
- The willingness and ability to be available 24/7 as required.
- Experience working at and commanding police personnel at collegiate Division 1 athletic events, including football and basketball event management/oversight.
- Experience working at and commanding police personnel as well as safety and security personnel and services at a major research hospital, preferably in a university setting.
In addition to the minimum academic and experiential requirements indicated in this document, other desired characteristics, skills, actions, and/or abilities noted from discussions with institutional stakeholders include:
- Possess a strong vision for leading a police department and security services toward its common mission of the service and protection of its community.
- Demonstrate the ability to formulate a plan for unifying and leading police and security staff who will encounter a broad spectrum of issues that may be directly or indirectly related to the departments.
- Strong leadership abilities that inspire staff and promote unity and teamwork, as well as human relations skills to deal effectively with personnel issues when necessary.
- An excellent and transparent communicator with the ability to reach all levels of the department and the university, including the ability to effectively speak to the press, parents, and the campus community.
- Able to listen carefully, ask knowledgeable questions, learn the department and its intricacies, accept input from staff, and then make and communicate well-informed decisions.
- Possess strategic vision and the ability to motivate all levels of staff to support that vision;
- deep knowledge of community policing and the ability to integrate that philosophy into the culture of the police department;
- A student-centered philosophy in which the welfare of students and improvement of the student experience is of the highest priority.
- Possess problem-solving skills, with the ability to determine needs, address issues, and manage change effectively.
- Strong assessment skills, with the ability to make data-driven decisions, set expectations across the department, devise and implement a plan, analyze the results, and propose changes and updates based on these outcomes.
- Demonstrated knowledge and experience in compliance and associated reporting requirements, particularly the details of Clery.
- Adaptable to significant changes on the spur of the moment, not reactive, and able to address situations with a cool and collected demeanor.
- A strategic and data-informed decision-maker who is also able to think fast on their feet when necessary.
- Strong public relations skills, with the ability to be the positive “face” of university police.
- Ethical, with the utmost integrity, and a good steward of resources.
- Demonstrated experience in embracing and utilizing new and innovative technology.
- Strong budgeting and finance skills, and able to be strategic in all budgetary decisions and recognize at all times the limits of the state budgeting system.
- An innovator with a futuristic orientation and willing to try new opportunities, remain informed on new trends and best practices, and lead significant change processes.
- Ability to understand that a comprehensive commitment to a customer service philosophy is one of the top priorities of the position.
- An ardent delegator who can balance knowing when to actively participate and when tasks can be delegated to others who are empowered.
- Willingness to be visible on campus, to participate in the life of the campus, and to work with the administration to provide information and news to the campus community in a timely and appropriate fashion.
- Politically savvy and tactful, with the ability to advocate for the needs of the staff and the departments.
- Possess knowledge of social media and can harness and leverage it for the departments.
- Possess a positive attitude and a good sense of humor.
- Experience in and support for professional law enforcement organizations that provide education and development for campus.
- Possess an understanding of mental health issues, as well as the value of having officers trained as mental health officers and being front-line contacts in this area.
- Ability to adequately staff major campus events, including athletics and entertainment, efficiently and cost-effectively.
- Possess deep knowledge of first-amendment and free-speech issues as they relate to a public university setting.
HISTORY OF THE POSITION
Gerald Lewis was hired as Chief of Police in 2021 and left the position in 2022 to accept the Vice President for Public Safety position at Columbia University.
Hans Rhynhart was hired at UConn as a patrol officer in 2001 and was promoted through the ranks until he was appointed as the Associate Vice President and Chief of Police in 2016. In 2021, following significant growth in the division, he moved exclusively into the role of Associate Vice President for University Safety when Lewis was hired in 2021.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE
The next Chief must possess a broad and deep understanding of national best practices concerning community policing, large campus culture, modern technology, and staff development. The Chief should be an experienced leader capable of managing crises and complex situations and equipped to contribute at both a strategic and tactical level to a vibrant, dynamic and large higher education environment with locations across the state.
The UConn stakeholders were genuinely interested in participating in discussions about this position, and there was a sense of unity in support of identifying a competent and visionary individual who can promote the team, put students as a top priority, and lead the departments into the future.
Several opportunities, priorities, and challenges that will face the new Chief of Police were identified:
- Police practices are under a microscope across the country. It will be critical for the new Chief to fully commit to implementing a progressive policing philosophy at the UConn Police Department (UCPD). Officers should be visible, accessible, and engaged with the student body, consistently networking with the faculty and administration, interactively involving the campus in safety and security endeavors, and generally providing a positive representation of the department as an active member of the UConn community. The Chief should use national best practices, innovative new trends, and professional networks to inform the further development of a kind and compassionate policing philosophy.
- UConn is deeply committed to the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and community and human relations, so the new Chief will need to keep these concepts as a top priority at all times. The Chief must ensure the inclusion of education and training around diversity, equity, bias, discrimination, and inclusivity in all areas of the departments.
- The departments have undergone significant changes in the past five years. UConn Health was added to the organization in 2017 and the police departments for all the campuses were combined in 2018. The Department of Security Services was established in 2023. Officers are assigned to locations across the state on a day-by-day basis, so some officers are required to commute up to two hours. The department cultures and the nature of the positions can vary significantly at different locations. For example, officers on the Storrs campus spend significant time in patrol vehicles while officers at the smaller regional locations are likely to be on foot patrol and have more opportunities for direct interaction with members of the campus community. Therefore, the Chief will need to promote flexibility, adaptability, and teamwork.
- The new Chief must commit to a comprehensive culture of collaboration and partnering both within the organization and externally for maximum effectiveness; UConn is committed to building relationships as a foundation of the campus culture, and strong collaboration is an absolute necessity in all endeavors to ensure success. The UCPD interacts with a vast number of individuals, departments, and organizations, so it will be critical for the new Chief to quickly reach out across campus to build strong partnerships that foster ongoing positive relationships. These connections are essential to assess real needs, design student-centered programs, and always provide high-end customer service. Additionally, the UCPD works closely with state and local law enforcement across Connecticut, so the new Chief should be prepared to continue to foster strong collaborative relationships with these partners.
- The Chief will need to make accountability a priority and forge a balance between enforcing rules and supporting UConn’s mission. Working hand-in-hand with the Dean of Students Office is an essential relationship, and one that will promote restorative justice and the educational mission of the university.
- The University is a heavily unionized organization, with nearly all police personnel being represented by the statewide Connecticut Police and Fire Union (CPFU). While the State of Connecticut’s Office of Labor Relations directly handles the negotiations with the CPFU, it remains essential for the Chief to establish a strong working relationship with the union. As a state agency, the Chief will also need to be keenly aware and familiar with applicable state statutes, processes, and timelines that apply to state personnel.
- The student body at UConn is activist in nature, so the new Chief should be prepared to work together with the students to provide safe and secure environments in which to voice their views. The student body is empowered and activated on social issues, is vocal, and will conduct demonstrations around these issues. The campus itself is vibrant, and often active well into the late-night hours. The Chief should have an understanding of how student protests can be safely and positively supported by campus law enforcement, while also holding community members accountable when laws or university regulations are violated.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
At an appropriate interval after joining UConn, the items listed below will initially define success for the new Chief of Police.
- Campus assessment programs show that student perceptions of the police force and the services provided are positive and rising.
- In consultation with the AVP, a strategic plan that is consistent with the divisional mission and goals have been established, and the objectives in that plan are being met by the designated timeline.
- In consultation with the AVP, staffing levels are at or near allocated levels, and employee climate surveys within the department show strong satisfaction and retention levels.
- The Chief has established solid relationships with individuals and departments across the University and the larger community.
- The Chief is viewed as a strong campus leader, is considered the campus expert on law enforcement and the “face” of the department, and based on best practices across the country, the department is employing the latest and most effective campus law enforcement and community policing practices.
OVERVIEW OF THE DIVISION OF UNIVERSITY SAFETY
The mission of the Division of University Safety is to protect and serve the University by safeguarding the future of our community through education, understanding, and mutual respect.
The Division has eight primary units: the UConn Police Department (UCPD), the UConn Security Services (SS), the UConn Fire Department (UCFD), the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Fire Marshal and Building Inspector’s Office (FMBIO), the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), the UConn Emergency Communication Center (EC) and Business Services. These departments and offices serve UConn’s main campus in Storrs and all campuses statewide.
The UConn Fire Department (UCFD) responds to approximately 3,000 emergency calls annually, including emergency medical incidents, fires, hazardous materials incidents, elevator entrapments, odor investigations, gas leaks, confined space incidents, fire alarms, and motor vehicle accidents. UCFD also supports about 170 events on campus annually and is dedicated to fire and accident prevention through a wide range of proactive fire prevention and public awareness education programs. UCFD provides emergency medical services and ambulance transport services for the Storrs and Farmington campuses.
The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) assists the University community with emergency preparedness, response, and recovery, and provides emergency training for students, faculty, and staff across the university. OEM also coordinates with federal, state, and local agencies to promote and foster best practices.
The Fire Marshal and Building Inspector’s Office (FMBIO) is responsible for code compliance on all university-owned property statewide, for buildings and construction projects which are not under the jurisdiction of other Connecticut agencies. FMBIO also provides public fire safety education, planning assistance, and maintenance of critical life safety systems in University buildings.
The Department of Environmental Health and Safety provides comprehensive environmental health and safety services for the university community by developing and administering effective policies, procedures, and training that prevent personal injuries and maintain regulatory compliance in the areas of biological, chemical, occupational, and radiation safety. EH&S is also responsible for environmental regulatory initiatives at the university. EH&S staff oversee four major safety committees.
The Emergency Communications Center (EC) is a state-authorized E-911 call center serving the Storrs campus as well as the Town of Mansfield. Dispatchers provide dispatching services to all UCPD and UCFD personnel statewide through a state-of-the-art radio system. The system has interoperability with state and local law enforcement agencies in Connecticut.
The Department of Business Services provides centralized financial, human resource, payroll, time and labor and labor relations services. As a centralized unit, its goal is to provide tools, information, and effective business solutions to optimally utilize the available resources.
THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT POLICE DEPARTMENT
Within the Division of University Safety, the UConn Police Department (UCPD) is an internationally accredited law enforcement and fully functional police agency with the same statutory authority as any municipal police department in the State of Connecticut. Sworn officers are state employees and graduates of the Connecticut Police Academy. UConn police are also appointed as law enforcement officers for the Towns/Cities of Mansfield, Hartford, Waterbury, Stamford, and Farmington.
The department is responsible for, and its primary mission is, the protection of lives and property at the University of Connecticut and all adjacent areas within the jurisdiction of the UConn Police Department. This includes the main campus in Storrs, regional campuses located throughout the state and UConn Health.
The UCPD currently has 86 authorized sworn police officers of all ranks, assigned to the main campus in Storrs, as well as UConn Health and all campuses located statewide.
The UCPD derives police authority and precinct boundaries from two separate sources:
- Connecticut General Statute 10a-156b; the jurisdiction of [the UConn Police Department] shall extend to the geographical limits of the property owned or under the control of the above institutions, and to property occupied by The University of Connecticut in the Town of Mansfield.
- Officers of the UConn Police Department are appointed as law enforcement officers for the Towns/Cities of Mansfield, Hartford, Waterbury, Stamford, and Farmington.
The UCPD has jurisdiction over all UConn-owned, operated, or leased properties throughout the State of Connecticut. In addition to the headquarters at the Storrs campus in Mansfield, they have substations and police personnel at our Avery Point, Farmington, Hartford/Law School, Stamford, and Waterbury campuses.
Founded in 1881, the University of Connecticut (UConn) is the state’s flagship institution of higher education and serves a total enrollment of approximately 32,000 students on the main campus in Storrs and its six regional campuses across the state in Farmington (UConn Health), Hartford (Law and Downtown Campuses), Stamford, Avery Point, and Waterbury. Designated as a research university/very high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation, UConn is ranked 23rd by U.S. News & World Report among national public universities in the United States. Connecticut’s commitment to higher education helps UConn attract students who thrive in the most competitive environments, as well as globally renowned faculty members. Through its $1.6B Next Generation Connecticut investment, the State of Connecticut greatly expanded educational opportunities, research, and innovation in the science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines at the university. As a vibrant, progressive leader, UConn fosters a diverse and dynamic culture that meets the challenges of a changing global society and provides a stimulating and rewarding environment in which to learn, work, and contribute.
THE STUDENT BODY
As of Fall 2021, UConn had over 23,000 undergraduate students and over 8,000 graduate and professional students, for a combined total of 32,146 enrolled students. 3,663 students entered as first-year students at the main campus with 46.7% in the top 10% of their high school class. Of the undergraduate students, 52% are female, 42% are minorities, 7% are international, and 75% are Connecticut residents. Of the graduate/professional students, 55% are female, 24% are minorities, 21% are international, and 67% are Connecticut Residents. UConn housed nearly 11,000 students in 102 residence halls. Approximately 24,300 students received financial aid packages in FY 2021.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION AT UCONN
The mission of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is to advocate for access and equity across all university units, to welcome and celebrate the experiences of individuals regardless of background through innovative educational programs, and to transform campus climate to build a more welcoming and inclusive community.
ODI is committed to creating, supporting, and sustaining a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and justice-oriented environment (DEIJ) that empowers every individual and group in our community to reach their full potential. We strive to create an environment that fosters full participation and belonging for all – especially historically excluded and racially oppressed populations both nationally and globally.
Radenka Maric – President
Radenka Maric was named the 17th President of the University of Connecticut by the Board of Trustees on September 28, 2022. She had served as UConn’s Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (VPRIE) since 2017. As President, she is responsible for Connecticut’s more than $3 billion public flagship university with five campuses, more than 30,000 students, and an extensive network of research and service endeavors.
Dr. Maric also holds the rank of Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and Chair Professor in Sustainable Energy in UConn’s Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering. She formerly served as Executive Director of the UConn Technology Park and Innovation Partnership Building from 2015 to 2017.
As VRPIE, Dr. Maric led UConn’s diverse research enterprise, with more than 300 staff members reporting to her at UConn and UConn Health. Under her leadership, new research awards to UConn and UConn Health doubled, growing from $184 million in FY 2017 to $376 million in FY 2020.
Dr. Maric has spearheaded innovative seed-funding initiatives to support faculty early-stage research and creative work across the university. She also has developed new programs to promote interdisciplinary, multi-campus, multi-stakeholder collaborations, including Innovation Grant in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM), Scholarship and Collaboration in Humanities, and Arts Research Program Awards (SCHARP).
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Review of applications will begin On April 5, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Mark Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email email@example.com.
Visit the University of Connecticut website at www.uconn.edu.
At the University of Connecticut, our commitment to excellence is complemented by our commitment to building a culturally diverse community.
The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.