New officers join the campus in hopes of improving safety

Sofia RositaniReporter

Southern has recently hired new officers to patrol and protect the university. The university’s new officers include Odino Rasile and Peter McKoy.

Chief of University Police Joseph Dooley said the officers must go through polygraph exams, psychological exams, written tests, interviews and background checks.

“Even though they have been a police officer with another agency, there is a battery of tests they have to go through,” said Dooley. “So, it’s not like we are, just because they are police officers, saying, ‘Okay, you are a candidate.’ We go through a whole process that we are required to do by the police standard and council, but it is also a good way [to know] you are hiring people who are competent to do the job.”

Even though these new officers have filled previously vacant positions, they still need more, because three of the officers have either become sergeants or left to take a position in another area.

Rasile, who retired from the New Haven Police Department last November, said, it will have been one year since he started working for the university.

“My experience pays a lot with diffusing situations and dealing with the kids,” said Rasile, “No bad experience with the kids, everyone has treated me good from students right up to the chief [of police] and the president. it’s a friendly atmosphere; I like it.”

Rasile said he has worked as a patrol, motorcycle and diving officer for the NHPD. As a diver, Rasile said he had to dive underwater to find certain objects or even bodies to aid an investigation.

McKoy, who previously served as a sergeant with the NHPD before coming to the university, has been at the university for two and-a-half months.

“It’s a welcome change to what we were doing. The clientele is nice to work with — not that the clientele wasn’t nice to work with in New Haven,” McKoy said. “It’s just different, a different way of working here.”

As a former sergeant, McKoy led the shifts, did reports, and served as the person to guide the officers in the right direction. As part of his job, McKoy worked in the Personal Affairs department of the NHPD, which tasked him with supporting officers’ mental health, as well as keeping an eye on the officers in the department in order to help them with any personal issues they may have encountered.

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