Thomas Kilcullen was officially appointed Chief of the University Police Department on Friday Feb. 27. He has been serving as interim Chief since Jan. 9, 2014. He previously served as Deputy Police Chief at SUNY Albany and has worked in the State University of New York policing system since March 1980.
Interim President Carol Long––who made the decision along with members of the search committee––officially appointed Kilcullen to the position. According to Kilcullen, the search for the next chief was conducted on a regional scale.
“I guess the thing that most excited me was coming into the department during a period of change,” Kilcullen said. “We had two very senior supervisors who had planned on retiring so we were able to make appointments from within. In addition, we engaged the law enforcement accreditation process through the department of criminal justice services.”
This process began with Kilcullen’s predecessor, Sal Simonetti, and was continued by Kilcullen’s time as interim Chief. This process required numerous assessments; the most recent and final assessment of which occurred in January of this year.
“We’re very optimistic that we will receive accreditation status, which would be significant for this campus,” Kilcullen said. “We’ll be the ninth University Police Department in the system, the 146th Police Department in New York State out of 600 and the first since Chancellor [Nancy] Zimpher announced a strategic goal of having all University Police Departments accredited within five years,” he said.
In addition to the accreditation, Kilcullen explained that he has started to work on obtaining a new records management system for the department that has the ability to crime map the campus, allowing the department to track problem areas over time and adjust their resources to accommodate that information.
Although changes are being made in within the department, Kilcullen noted that he also hopes to maintain aspects of the department as well.
“I think what’s important is that we will continue with a philosophy of community policing and working to fortify the current relationships that exist within the community, and also expanding on those relationships,” he said.