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By Associated Press
Thursday, October 23, 2008

AMHERST - University of Massachusetts Police Chief Barbara O'Connor is heading West after 25 years at the Amherst campus.
She has accepted a new job as executive director of public safety at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The board of trustees is to vote on O'Connor's appointment next month. She's expected to start the job Jan.1.
The 47-year-old O'Connor has been UMass police chief since 2002. She tells the Republican of Springfield the move is "an opportunity to take on a new challenge."
O'Connor is also an attorney and a member of the Hadley Board of Selectmen.
UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski says O'Connor "has served UMass Amherst with great devotion and distinction, and we are sorry to see her leave. "

http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/2008_10_23_UMass_police_chief_headed_west/
 

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I would be interested in hearing from the cops who actually work there. When the chief leaves, the university/college/city/town ALWAYS (almost) what a shame and how honored they were to have so and so for x-number of years.

Then you talk to the cops. Some echo the spokesperson, others have a totally different take on the matter.

I know of at least ONE department represented here that was NOT sorry to see the chief go and one other that hopes for the same thing.

I'm not casting doubt on the chief, she may have been an awesome chief, but it's the rank and file's opinion that counts with me, not the spokesman's.
 

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UMass police chief leaving for University of Illinois


UMass Police Chief Barbara R. O'Connor

Thursday, October 23, 2008
By DIANE LEDERMAN
[email protected]

AMHERST - University of Massachusetts Police Chief Barbara R. O'Connor will leave the university to become executive director of public safety at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

O'Connor, 47, has been with the UMass police department for 25 years and has been chief since 2002. She is also a member of the Hadley Board of Selectmen. As chief, her salary is $119,999.

Her appointment must be approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, who are scheduled to vote on the matter Nov. 13. O'Connor is expected to begin her new job on Jan. 1.

O'Connor said she is not sure when she will leave UMass.

"It was a great opportunity for me. It's a promotion, it's an opportunity to take on a new challenge. I love UMass ... people here have been very good to me."

"Chief O'Connor has served UMass-Amherst with great devotion and distinction, and we are sorry to see her leave," said UMass spokesman Edward F. Blaguszewski.

"However, we know this is an outstanding professional opportunity in Illinois that is well-suited to her abilities," he said.

UMass plans to appoint an interim chief prior to O'Connor's departure. At the University of Illinois, O'Connor will supervise a campus of 37,000 students at Urbana. She will also be responsible for creating the budget, managing human resources and setting priorities for campus security.

O'Connor, who is also a lawyer, said there aren't a lot of women who run major police departments, and once she became a lawyer, "I started to get recruited by different agencies." She said this was the right job and right time for her. She has two sons who are in college, she said.

She said the move will allow her to see a different part of the country. "There's a whole world outside of Massachusetts," she said.

She was born in Western Massachusetts, she said, and will likely return here.
O'Connor has submitted her resignation to the Hadley Board of Selectmen. Her last meeting will be Nov. 5, she said.

O'Connor was elected to the board 18 months ago. "I'm a little disappointed not filling out my term," she said.

"There's a real sense of teamwork and respect" on that board, and she said that benefits the town. "I will miss the people of Hadley."

"She was a great fit to the board," said Hadley selectmen chairman Gerald T. Devine. "She brought a lot of different talents ... She was trained in all different facets of working with people, and she was an attorney.

http://www.masslive.com/republican/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-17/122474654169500.xml&coll=1
 

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i heard it was gonna be Michael Baril the first undercover graduate of the 80th RTT. :rolleyes:

SSPO...naw CMPSA hahahha XD

he'll have half the kids running around making siren noises and end up turning the mounted unit into a petting zoo
 

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Umass is a progressive campus department I would say. A variety of specialized units you can't go wrong. Now lets see what direction they go with the next Chief.
 

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There IS a whole world outside Massachusetts, it's called Vermont!
 

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It's been my experience that UMASS PD doesn't pull any punches when dealing with the rudents...we'll see what changes an appointment by the know-nothing governor produces.
 

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The Governor has little, if anything to do with a replacement of this nature. It's the Chancellor of the Amherst campus along with the help of a search and interview committee that would make such a promotion, new hire or appointment. The Board of Trustees, which governs the system as a whole and is itself composed of Celluci/Romney/Patrick appointments would potentially formally confirm such an appointment, but probably not. It's similar to how most large suburban towns and small cities would fill such a position that's not covered by civil service rules.
 

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Chief of police steps down

Adam P. Coulter, Collegian Staff

Issue date: 11/18/08 Section: News

University of Massachusetts Chief of Police Barbara O'Connor plans to leave the University in January to become the executive director of public safety at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The trustees at the University of Illinois voted on Nov. 3 to approve the decision.

"Her dedication to professional development makes her an ideal fit for my leadership team," said Richard Herman, chancellor at the Urbana campus, recently in a statement on the University's Web site.

O'Connor, 47, has been with the UMass Police Department for 25 years and has officially served as chief since 2002, having performed the duties as acting chief for a short time before that.

"The chief has had a long and very distinguished career here at UMass and has served the community well," said UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski. "She's led the department to a new level - they're well trained and well prepared."

During the seven years of O'Connor's leadership, UMass has been recognized for many accomplishments in varying aspects of community policing, which have resulted in a more efficient and cohesive department.

"When I inherited the department the morale was very low because of several years of bad contract negotiations, and there was no spirit of cooperation or camaraderie," O'Connor said.

She acknowledged that there wasn't much she could do on the contract side, but that some things could be done to improve the working mechanics of the law enforcement team.

"We really worked hard to address this, and we changed the organization culture by assessing a sense of value and appreciation for what we do as a team," she said.

Past UMPD officers have turned down jobs with bigger salaries to stay at UMass, evidence of the organization's progress under O'Connor.

"I've had three or four officers during my tenure turn down jobs with the state police, which is significant because they make six figures. Officers feel valued here," O'Connor said.

New aggressive programs have come to fruition under O'Connor as well.

Created in 2002, the police cadet program for college students interested in law enforcement is one such unique opportunity.

"Young people who come here who never think about becoming a university police officer see what we do and say, 'This is the only place I want to be a cop, chief,'" said O'Connor. "I've hired six cadets as full time officers once they finished college," she added.

There has been community policing programs initiated around crime prevention and problem solving, and state-of-the-art security systems and cameras installed in the dorms and around campus, which have produced facts related to the reduction in crime on campus, as well as student's opinions.

"They've been a good help solving crimes," said Aaron Hobbs, a junior journalism major.

"The cameras as a campus-wide standard has now reduced crime significantly," said O'Connor. According to the 2007 Annual Security Report released in September there were three armed robberies in 2007 and zero in 2006.

"The first year I was chief we had eleven armed robberies and in 1998 a student was shot here. The fact that we haven't had that kind of violence in seven years say's we're doing something right," she said.

O'Connor and the department, with help from the University, have also implemented a K-9 unit, improved the condition of police vehicles, received additional dispatchers, and have increased the number of officers on the force.

"When I arrived there were 53 officers, and when I leave we'll have 63 from the chief on down," said O'Connor.

O'Connor believes investment in the department is vital and it correlates to lower crime rates and better overall policing.

"The University's invested in this department tremendously and we've learned that without those investments, officer's morale will be low and they're not going to be proactive in crime prevention," she said.

When asked what challenges she most looks forward to in her new position at the University of Illinois, O'Connor said, "I will be in charge of emergency management and disaster planning, which is a huge task considering the university is a third larger than UMass."

On leaving her home of 25 years she was nostalgic.

"I will miss the people here the most. I always say we don't use the pronoun "I" in this department, it's "we." It's not what I do as a chief it's what we do together," said O'Connor.

http://media.www.dailycollegian.com...hief.Of.Police.Steps.Down-3549390-page2.shtml
 

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Past UMPD officers have turned down jobs with bigger salaries to stay at UMass, evidence of the organization's progress under O'Connor.

"I've had three or four officers during my tenure turn down jobs with the state police, which is significant because they make six figures. Officers feel valued here," O'Connor said.
:confused:
 

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First time I saw UMass/Amherst I was in total AWE. Those guys work, really WORK.

In my stage of life, I'm past wanting to work that hard, but man, I do respect those that do.

I'll do my laps to show the cruiser and wave at the people (and sigh, answer my calls), then I just want to nap.* You can't really do that at UMA.

*Ok, I admit it, I still like to work, but none of the silly BS that often comes my way and God forbid I'm in a situation where I may have to raise my voice! Instant complait of being RUDE and I'm on the carpet.

sorry, didn't mean to whine.
 

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"I've had three or four officers during my tenure turn down jobs with the state police, which is significant because they make six figures. Officers feel valued here," O'Connor said.

One thing to love your job, but sheesh....When I took the test a few years back they started at 34,000.... Turn down a statie job to stay there.....theres love for the job, then there is foolishness....
 

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"I've had three or four officers during my tenure turn down jobs with the state police, which is significant because they make six figures. Officers feel valued here," O'Connor said.

One thing to love your job, but sheesh....When I took the test a few years back they started at 34,000.... Turn down a statie job to stay there.....theres love for the job, then there is foolishness....
Well put Foxy. We all know that one's salary does not make the job, but Chief O'Connor, please spare us all... Those "three or four officers" of yours, effectively flushed winning lottery tickets down the shitter...and NO, I'm not solely speaking in monetary terms.

Who really knows why they chose to stay at UMASS PD over the MSP? "Officers feel valued here" doesn't really cut it for me either Foxy85...
I've known others to defer or turn-down the well-paid, well-respected and oppurtunity-laden state law enforcement job before... and no one can convince me that they aren't victims of their own dysfunctional thinking.

Before I jumped from local PD to the MSP, I was once asked by one of my former supervisors why I wanted to trade away being: "a big fish in a small pond, for being a small fish in a big pond?"... A: Because mediocrity should never be an option in any profession... Our individual standards of success should always be raised accordingly, by others if necessary. If we surround ourselves with ambitious talent, then you almost automatically have your personal bar set higher... However, if you stay and play with the comfortable, and the complacent... Well, you know how that chapter ends most of the time...

"Dare greatly... so that your your place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt
 

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Yup, I'm calling BS on that one too. First, only a handful of commissioned officers with well over 20 years have a "6 figure salary". And 2nd, nobody with a few brain cells left would successfully make it through the ENTIRE process and "turn it down". Trying to somehow equate her supposed leadership to a few guys who said they "turned it down", is a bit of a stretch and sounds more like someone tooting their own horn. Let's hear from those few who "turned it down".
 

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Let's hear from those few who "turned it down".
You won't, because they didnt. Passing the test, and maybe getting to the interview, and then backing out don't qualify as "turning it down." It qualifies as backing out. I don't doubt that ZooMass might have it's perks, but I seriously doubt that anyone there was offered the SP gig and "turned it down" to stay at a place where you babysit drunk, whining, know-it-all, "we have rights," college asshats.
 

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Honestly, I took the MSP test ONCE and that was a long time ago. I read a few of the 'situational' questions and found them silly enough to make me chuckle. I don't recall them of course after almost 30 years, but it was along the lines of:

You pull over a car and smell marijuana. Do you....
a) pull the driver from the vehicle and cuff him.
b) make all the occupants get out of the vehicle and lie prone on the pavement.
c) break all the windows to vent the vehicle and hit the driver with your flashlight.
d) investigate further and make a determination on what to do based on that investigation.

I swear, there were a couple of really stupid questions.

I had never wanted to be a Trooper. Nothing personal to all you with the MSP, but I really never did. I took the test for the experience only and walked out shaking my head. I never looked back and never took the test again. No, I didn't get nearly a high enough score (Eighty something) and just didn't care.

There are SO MANY reasons TO jump ship from a job to the MSP, but if you really don't want the job, you don't want the job. I can't see knocking someone for declining it. For some, it's just not the right fit. I know there were a lot of Metro, Registry and Capitol cops who felt that way, but it just didn't matter, they got stuck.
 

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Honestly, I took the MSP test ONCE and that was a long time ago. I read a few of the 'situational' questions and found them silly enough to make me chuckle. I don't recall them of course after almost 30 years, but it was along the lines of:

You pull over a car and smell marijuana. Do you....
a) pull the driver from the vehicle and cuff him.
b) make all the occupants get out of the vehicle and lie prone on the pavement.
c) break all the windows to vent the vehicle and hit the driver with your flashlight.
d) investigate further and make a determination on what to do based on that investigation.

I swear, there were a couple of really stupid questions.

I had never wanted to be a Trooper. Nothing personal to all you with the MSP, but I really never did. I took the test for the experience only and walked out shaking my head. I never looked back and never took the test again. No, I didn't get nearly a high enough score (Eighty something) and just didn't care.

There are SO MANY reasons TO jump ship from a job to the MSP, but if you really don't want the job, you don't want the job. I can't see knocking someone for declining it. For some, it's just not the right fit. I know there were a lot of Metro, Registry and Capitol cops who felt that way, but it just didn't matter, they got stuck.
We all know that a written exam doesn't identify strengths or weaknesses, it just creates a list to choose from. But this lady brought up the fact that somehow, based on her tremendous leadership that she was able to keep a few officers who "turned down" a job with the MSP. There are certain inferences that we draw from that statement, such as getting all the way through the recruitment process with a conditional offer and saying, "Nah, I'm gonna stay at UMass PD because the chief is great".

I take tests because I want whatever it is they're offering. If it's a promotional exam, it's because I want to get made, not for the experience. I turned down an offer out west based on obligations back here. But she eluded that her magnetic charm somehow kept officers under her employ, and some officers could have went off to make a 6 figure salary if it wasn't for her. If someone gets a conditional offer of employment, reasons for "turning it down" are reduced to a select few: Financially, mentally or physically unprepared, or military and family commitments.

She drew first blood, she drew first blood...
 
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