The following is a press release
After over 20 years as chief of the Central Connecticut State University Police Department, and over 40 years in law enforcement, Chief Jason Powell, a West Hartford resident, announced his retirement.
Despite his love of police work, Powell said that it was “the right time.”
“It simply isn’t a job you can do forever,” Powell said. “The department has moved into a new facility, recently completed its accreditation review and, while there is always room for improvement, there are no major challenges facing the police department at this time.
“Most importantly, there is a very competent and dedicated group of officers ready to help a new chief be successful.”
CCSU’s Chief Administrative Officer Richard Bachoo commended Powell’s dedication to improving the university’s capability to keep its 12,000 students and 3,000 employees safe.
“CCSU has greatly benefitted from having a highly qualified expert of Chief Powell’s professional stature for so long. It’s difficult to imagine someone else filling his shoes,” Bachoo said.
On finding Powell’s replacement, Bachoo noted that it is the “most critical position” he has had to fill and said he is “confident that the search, currently underway, will yield a police professional equal to our stringent requirements.”
Powell was hired in 1991 to lead the CCSU Police Department after reports alleging improprieties and discontent within the department.
While fulfilling his mission to improve the department, Powell realized the need to reevaluate the campus safety model. Where public safety was once seen simply as a police responsibility, Powell recognized that CCSU would benefit from a central vision transcending the role of the police.
“The job of a police chief in this environment is not only to manage the police department, but to lead and influence other safety stakeholders on campus in a more unified effort,” Powell said.
In response to Powell’s suggested changes, CCSU engaged key administrators in making safety improvements, met with national consultants to identify best practices, significantly expanded the use of security technology (such as access control and cameras), and established the use of behavioral review and threat assessments to reduce risk.
In 1999 the CCSU Police Department became the first campus police department in Connecticut to achieve national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Having just completed a new CALEA review this past week, the CCSU Police Department now awaits final Commission approval to again become CALEA accredited.
In reflecting on his career at CCSU, Powell praised his staff.“We have progressed since 1991 when people questioned the competency of officers and their role,” Powell said. “Now, officers are routinely praised by both faculty and students. I am proud of what we have accomplished internally, as well as the support we receive from President Miller and the entire administration.”