Meet our new Interim Chief of Police
Destene Savariau – News Editor
As one of the Top 20 safest schools in Connecticut, the university wouldn’t have earned that title without the hard work of the University Police Department. However, with the retirement of Chief Joseph Dooley, it needs a chief and a leader to work hard to maintain that title.
Interim Chief Kenneth Rahn is new to the job but not new to our school. He served under the previous chief, Joseph Dooley, for three years as his deputy. Before coming to our school, he served under the Milford Police Department for 25 years. He went through many departments, from a K-9 handler to a detective.
“As I’ve progressed through my career, I’ve gotten into administration and I really enjoy this aspect of it, because you have the ability to impact newer officers’ careers and help them, you know? Help develop and mentor them,” said Rahn.
As Interim Chief of Police, he oversees the totality of operations in the department. He’s responsible for day-to-day operations, overseeing the hiring and training of personnel and keeping equipment and systems up to date.
“I look forward to continuing the vision that Dooley had to make this one of the safest campuses in the state. What we’ve been trying to do is move things forward a little bit and not really change the direction of what we’re doing, but maybe modernize it a bit,” Rahn said.
While the word “interim” means to be temporary, for Rahn, it means he will be acting as Chief for one year before the state selection process to choose a new one. Nevertheless, he is determined to make every minute he is here count. He has a set list of goals he is hoping to achieve. A few items on that list were hiring new officers, exploring the option of online reporting, improving the parking system, and improving the health and wellness of officers.
“The biggest goal is to see what we could do by looking at the best practices across the country. Try and see if there’s anything whether procedurally or equipment or security-wise; what is the next thing out there that can really impact this community’s safety,” said Rahn.
Rahn and his officers have been trying to improve and modernize their safety practices through their increased activity on social media, use of community policing initiatives and the upgrading of equipment to further ensure the safety of students.
“We’re currently in the process of changing our camera systems here at the department. We got new body cameras, dash cameras and building cameras. All of which run on one central system now so it’s easier to access files and footage,” Rahn said.
With these new safety measure put in place, officers like Mykola Gusyev seem to be warming up to Rahn and the changes he brings.
“He’s a good guy. I think he’s going to make a great chief.” said Gusyev.
Sergeant Kim Clare would also agree that Rahn is a good fit for the department.
“I look forward to working with him. He’s been very diligent and I look forward to see what he has in store for the department.” Clare said.
As students who put their safety in the hands of the officers on campus, it’s essential to know who is in charge of that safety and who they are as a person. Rahn wants students to know that as a father of four kids, three of whom are in college, he sees students as his kids.
“I really appreciate and see what the college experience is about, and I look at Southern as if my own kids go here, which one does. So I want to always make sure that we do everything we can for the students here and our experiences at Southern,” Rahn said.