MACLEA Hosts 2021 Awards Ceremony to Recognize Exceptional Service of Massachusetts Campus Police Officers

MACLEA Hosts 2021 Awards Ceremony to Recognize Exceptional Service of Massachusetts Campus Police Officers
From left, Brandeis University Police Officer Anthony Celona, Chief Matt Rushton and Officer Kimberly Carter as Officer Celona and Officer Carter receive the MACLEA Heroic Action Award for jumping into a flooded pond on campus and rescuing a student who could not swim during Tropical Storm Fred in August. (Photo Courtesy MACLEA)

The Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (MACLEA) is pleased to share that 14 campus police officers and administrators were honored Thursday for extraordinary, lifesaving and heroic work.

The annual awards ceremony was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Thursday’s ceremony recognized exemplary work from both 2020 and 2021.

“I would like to thank and congratulate not only our 14 incredible award winners today, but also all of the officers, dispatchers, emergency management staff and support staff whose dedication and hard work helped campuses across the Commonwealth safely navigate two years that were anything but normal,” said MACLEA President Capt. Andrew Turco, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Department. “Campus police officers, administrators and support staff have all done our profession proud with two years worth of professionalism and commitment to the institutions they serve.”

Awards presented at the event were:

Exemplary Service Award — Sgt. Caitlin Elnitsky, Babson College Police

On Jan. 8, 2021, Sgt. Elnitsky came across a motor vehicle crash while conducting an off-campus property check. Sgt. Elnitsky reported the incident to dispatch immediately and ran to assist a victim who was trapped in a vehicle. Sgt. Elnitsky spoke with the  motorist to calm them until Fire and EMS arrived and extricated the victim from the vehicle. The motorist did not survive her injuries, but senior members of the Wellesley Police Department recognized the leadership and compassion of Sgt. Elnitsky’s response.

Exemplary Service Award — Officer Philip Burns, Brandeis University Police

On Sept. 8, 2021, Officer Philip Burns responded to a fire alarm in a residence hall, discovered a fire in a third-floor room and notified the local fire department. Burns then located a fire extinguisher, returned to the room and put the fire out before it could spread. Officer Burns was recognized for his calmness and courage as he quickly prevented a dangerous incident from becoming worse.

Exemplary Service Award — Sgt. Mark Randall, North Shore Community College Police

On Sept. 7, 2021, Sgt. Mark Randall responded to assist an elderly faculty member who was lost in a densely wooded area near campus. Sgt. Randall contacted the victim by cellphone to keep her calm, and located the faculty member after a diligent search. Sgt. Randall then carried the faculty member over overgrown terrain since she was exhausted and dehydrated. Once out of the woods, Sgt. Randall provided basic first aid.

Lifesaving Award — Officer Sean Gannon and Sgt. Jeremy Cole, Endicott College Police

On April 23, 2021, Officer Sean Gannon and Sgt. Jeremy Cole responded to a report of a person not breathing on a softball field on campus. Officer Gannon and Sgt. Cole located the patient and used two-person CPR, including the use of oxygen and an automatic external defibrillator until the patient resumed breathing. The quick and professional response of Officer Gannon and Sgt. Cole likely saved the patient’s life.

Lifesaving Award — Officer Brett Morava and Lt. Glenn McCune, Tufts University Police

On Aug. 20, 2021, Officer Brett Morava and Lt. Glenn McCune responded to a medical emergency in which a worker was electrocuted while working on power lines. Officer Morava and Lt. McCune discovered the person unresponsive, and used a department-issued automatic external defibrillator to administered a shock that caused the victim’s heart rhythm to return. Officer Morava and Lt. McCune’s quick response and skilled actions likely saved the worker’s life.

Administrative Initiative Award — Director of Police Dispatch and Security Operations Ken Wilson, UMass Lowell Police

Director Ken Wilson worked since 2012 to propose several possible solutions to the UMass Lowell Police Department’s need for a new radio system, eventually serving as chair of a committee that was setup to study the matter. As a result of the committee’s work, UMass Lowell made a significant investment in a state-of-the-art radio system that provides better coverage for officers, eliminating several dead spots the old system could not reach. Director Wilson also worked with Lowell Police to access the encrypted radio channels so that UMass Lowell officers would be safer while responding to back up city officers on emergency calls. Director Wilson’s dedication and persistence created a safer environment for both UMass Lowell Police officers and students.

Outstanding Personal Contribution — Officer Dan Dolan, UMass Lowell Police

Officer Dan Dolan, in his role as the UMass Lowell Police firearms instructor, developed a comprehensive Emergency Action Plan for firearms training, updated the range’s first aid kit and created an Emergency Action Plan Manual that was requested by other agencies. Officer Dolan also worked with the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team (DHART) to create a landing zone for medical helicopters at the range in case of an emergency. Officer Dolan’s forethought and dedication may save the life of a campus or municipal police officer in the event of a training incident.

Heroic Action Award — Officer Kimberly Carter and Officer Anthony Celona, Brandeis University Police

On Aug. 19, 2021, as Brandeis University experienced flooding caused by Tropical Storm Fred, Officers Kimberly Carter and Anthony Celona responded to a report of a student who fell into a flooded pond. The pond was over 10 feet deep and the student was unable to swim, so both officers jumped into the water and rescued the student, pulling them safely to shore. The bravery displayed by Officer Carter and Officer Celona, without regard for their own safety, likely saved a student from serious injury or death.

Heroic Action Award — Officer Brian Ethier, UMass Lowell Police

On Aug. 7, 2020, while off-duty and asleep at his home, Officer Brian Ethier was awakened by his son because a neighbor’s home was on fire. Officer Ethier ran to the burning home, and upon hearing screams from inside and seeing that the doorway was blocked by flames, he smashed a front window and helped five children between the ages of 1 and 8 escape through the window. After saving the children, Officer Ethier realized an elderly woman was still trapped inside and worked with a good Samaritan to break another window in an effort to save the woman without success. Despite an explosion from within the house during the rescue attempt, the resident was rescued once additional help arrived. Had it not been for the quick, selfless and courageous response of Officer Ethier, several lives could have been lost.

Ralph Avery Leadership Development Award — Chief Frank Bourgeois, Bentley University Police

Bentley University Police Chief Frank Bourgeois cares about his employees, inspires their betterment and growth, and encourages all to embrace opportunities offered by the university. A chief who leads with kindness and excellence, in just over a year Chief Bourgeois has updated or rebranded uniforms, cruisers, the organizational charge and policies at the Bentley University Police Department, while encouraging members to challenge the status quo and value accountability and responsibility. Chief Bourgeois truly lives up to the standard set by the award’s namesake, Ralph Avery, a pioneer in campus law enforcement and public safety who served as a mentor to many.

Sean Collier Award for Innovations in Community Policing — Detective Sgt. Travis Rixford, Bentley University Police

Detective Sgt. Travis Rixford, also known as “Officer Trav” on the Bentley University campus, has raised the bar for Community Policing Officers with his work to establish authentic relationships with all on campus. Detective Sgt. Rixford creates videos that have reached thousands of students and families on social media, helping to reduce the level of stress and anxiety on campus in recent years. Detective Sgt. Rixford is also dedicated to crime prevention, serving as a RAD instructor, crime prevention officer and criminal investigator. In one example of the compassion and attention Officer Trav brings to the Bentley community, he sat with and cheered for a student at commencement whose parents were unable to join her due to illness. Detective Sgt. Rixford’s commitment to his campus community, compassion and dedication to duty earned him the coveted award named for fallen MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.

“Today we recognized the exceptional work of those who went above and beyond the call of duty to keep their campus communities safe,” said UMass Lowell Police Chief Randolph Brashears, who hosted the awards ceremony at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center. “I’d like to thank each and every one of those officers and the colleagues, dispatchers and support staff who assisted them. I’d also like to thank each of the individuals who took the time to recognize exemplary work on their campuses and submit nominations for awards. The nominations are a testament to the respect we all have for our peers.”

MACLEA Hosts Virtual Panel Featuring Four Police Leaders from Around the Country

MACLEA Hosts Virtual Panel Featuring Four Police Leaders from Around the Country
MACLEA’s panel, hosted virtually on Thursday, May 27, featured (clockwise from top left) Holy Cross Chief Shawn de Jong, Northeastern University Director of Public Safety and Deputy Chief of Police Ruben Galindo, University of Massachusetts Amherst Police Chief Tyrone Parham, Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard, Jr. and Marquette University Police Chief Edith Hudson. (Photo courtesy MACLEA)

The Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (MACLEA) is pleased to share the success of a recent virtual panel.

Coordinated by MACLEA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and moderated by Holy Cross Chief Shawn de Jong, the panel held on Thursday, May 27 featured Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard, Jr., Northeastern University Director of Public Safety and Deputy Chief of Police Ruben Galindo, Marquette University Police Chief Edith Hudson and University of Massachusetts Amherst Police Chief Tyrone Parham.

The panel addressed numerous topics around improving relationships with communities, including transparency and accountability, trust, police advisory boards, recruiting and training.

Chief de Jong began the event addressing the challenges facing police departments, including college police departments. She discussed how college police officers are no longer simply security guards, but are very alike to their municipal counterparts in terms of the crimes and incidents they respond to, their training, and the importance of creating and maintaining positive relationships with their campus communities.

The panelists went on to discuss transparency and accountability and the steps their departments have taken to address these needs. Chief Parham discussed a new Accountability and Transparency website the UMass Amherst Police Department launched. The website was a product of demands for change and calls for racial justice by a student-led Racial Justice Coalition following George Floyd’s murder. Chief Parham met with the group multiple times and transparency was an important part of what they wanted from their police department. UMPD launched the site on July 20, 2020.

The panel also discussed various ways of connecting with the community and improving trust. Commissioner Bard discussed the Cambridge Police Family and Social Justice Section, which provides certain services to community members who may be better served through a social justice approach than a conventional criminal justice approach. The department’s Office of Procedural Justice also works to increase transparency and accountability by monitoring data relating to police-citizen interactions.

The panelists also discussed their work with police advisory boards. At Marquette, Chief Hudson is working with the advisory board to create new ways for community members to share feedback, which is currently under development both with the advisory board and Marquette law students. At Northeastern, the advisory board has been up and running for about a year. The board has worked with NUPD on changes to uniforms and complaint systems, and Director Galindo believes the advisory board has significantly helped the department create better relationships with some of the students who are most vocal about changes in policing.

On recruiting, Chief Hudson said in Wisconsin, recruitment in general is difficult at city and college police departments, but even more so when needing to factor in diversity recruitment. She believes the best way to recruit people is to be passionate about the work. Commissioner Bard said Cambridge has seen positive gains in recent years on minority and marginalized recruitment.

Director Galindo discussed how NUPD has started to enter a new phase of its recruitment process by looking at the internal culture of the department. The idea is that people generally want to work at a department where they feel they can enact change and be valued. In terms of diversity, he said while they strive to be a diverse department, it is much more important to find the right candidates, not just people who fit into a particular category. Chief de Jong agreed, saying that when they get to the end of a hiring phase and they look across the table at a potential recruit, they want to see a good human being before wanting to see a potentially good officer.

Another important topic discussed was approaches to training. NUPD has partnered with the Cambridge Police Department to run a regional police academy through the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC). Director Galindo discussed the importance of building officers’ socialization within the community starting on day one of training. One of the assignments at the academy includes talking to students, seeing what they may need and following up as necessary. He believes that interactions with people during a response should first and foremost be looked at as an opportunity to learn about their story and their needs.

The panelists wrapped up by discussing the future of campus policing and their hopes for their individual legacies.

“We were thrilled to be able to host this panel and I would like to commend Chiefs de Jong and Parham for their work on MACLEA’s DEI Committee to plan this event,” said Capt. Andrew Turco, MACLEA president and captain at the MIT Police Department. “I would also like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to Commissioner Bard, Director Galindo, Chief Hudson and Chief Parham for taking time out of their day to join us and share their tremendous insight and experiences.”


MACLEA Announces Panel on Transparency, Trust Between Police and Communities

MACLEA Announces Panel on Transparency, Trust Between Police and Communities

MACLEA Announces Panel on Transparency, Trust Between Police and Communities

MASSACHUSETTS — The Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (MACLEA) is pleased to announce a virtual panel to take place next week.

The panel, entitled “Dynamic Leadership: Redefining Transparency and Trust,” will take place virtually on Thursday, May 27 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The panel is open to members of the association’s member departments, as well as faculty and staff from colleges and universities across the Commonwealth.

The event will feature four police leaders discussing ways in which their departments have worked to improve relationships with their communities. Topics will include citizen advisory groups, transparency and accountability, hiring practices, increasing diversity within police departments and alternative response models.

The panelists will discuss their respective departments’ work in these areas and attendees will be able to ask questions.

“In a time when the policing profession continues to be under close attention, it is important for police departments to commit to engaging with those they serve in a meaningful way,” said Capt. Andrew Turco, MACLEA president and captain at the MIT Police Department. “The four panelists have valuable experience leading police departments and putting forth initiatives to help build and maintain positive relationships with their communities, and we encourage our members to attend.”

Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP to the event by clicking here.

Panelists will include:

Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard, Jr.
Commissioner Bard was appointed police commissioner for the City of Cambridge Police Department in August 2017. He joined the department after serving as chief of police and director of public safety for the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s Police Department. Under his leadership at the fourth largest Housing Authority in the country, significant crime reductions were realized and relations drastically improved between Housing Authority residents and the police, while citizen complaints declined and a defunct Police Advisory Board was reestablished.

He had previously served in numerous positions with the Philadelphia Police Department, including Police Inspector, and Police Captain for the 22nd District which is the largest police district in the city for assigned personnel. There, the District piloted many crime-reduction strategies, including Philadelphia CeaseFire Cure Violence, data-driven efforts, Summer Foot Beat Initiative, Focused Deterrence Policing and Intelligence-led policing efforts.

Northeastern University Director of Public Safety and Deputy Chief of Police Ruben Galindo
Director Galindo joined the NUPD in January 2015 as the deputy chief of police, leading all police operations, and was later promoted to director of public safety. He began his career with the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1982, attaining several ranks during his tenure. Some of his commands included Captain of the Liberty City District, Commander of the Miami International Airport and Director of the Miami-Dade Training Institute.

The NUPD is a full-service police department with over 100 employees, more than 70 of which are sworn law enforcement officers. The department is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and through the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC). The department has also partnered with the Cambridge Police Department to run its own police academy through the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC).

Marquette University Police Chief Edith Hudson
Chief Hudson leads over 80 public safety professionals of the Marquette University Police Department. She is the former assistant chief of police for the Milwaukee Police Department, serving for 25 years in progressive leadership roles before her retirement from the department in 2015.

Chief Hudson is a current board member of NAMI Greater Milwaukee; an active member of Alverno College’s vanguard society, a group of professional women who provide mentorship and other support to alumna, current students and administration; and serves as co-chair of the Near West Side Partners safety working group. She has also been involved in the Alverno College’s Servant Leadership Roundtable for several years.

University of Massachusetts Amherst Police Chief Tyrone Parham
Chief Parham was named to the position of assistant vice chancellor/chief of police at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in January 2016. He oversees 62 sworn officers on a college campus consisting of over 30,000 students and 51 residence halls. UMass Amherst PD is a full-service police department that is accredited through CALEA and MPAC.

Parham joined the Pennsylvania State University Police Department in 1989 as a student security officer. In 1993 he was hired as a patrol officer and rose through the ranks, holding the positions of detective, lieutenant, assistant chief and deputy chief before his appointment as chief. From 2011-2016, Chief Parham served as chief of police at Penn State. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Class #244 and PERF’s Senior Management Institute for Police Class #68.