Remembering Chief Starkel

The Charger Bulletin

Last week, the University of New Haven was stricken with sadness to hear of the loss of one of their own. Chief Henry Starkel, 62, passed away at his home on Tuesday, November 30, 2010. The news of Starkel’s death came from Ronald Quagliani, UNH’s executive director of safety and transportation. A message was sent via email to the UNH community. In the email, Quagliani noted Starkel will be remembered as “a student advocate, an effective administrator and a true friend.”

Starkel was born in Hartford, on September 2, 1948. Being a lifelong resident of Connecticut, he attended Hall High School and graduated from Tunxis Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Police Science. Starkel went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from the University of New Haven with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice Administration. He later received a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Westfield State College.

Starkel began his 40-year-career in law enforcement with the West Hartford Police Department in 1969. From 1988 until Starkel arrived at UNH, he was police chief at Eastern Connecticut State University. From 1997 to present time he was employed as the Chief of Police at the University of New Haven. He had served as police chief for 13 years. His fellow co-workers stated that he had had some health issues recently. However, despite that fact, he put in a full day’s work on Monday as usual.

Chief Starkel will be remembered for his sense of humor, generosity, kindness, and love of animals. Many colleagues will attest to his superior work ethic. Those who worked with Starkel recalled he initiated a police bicycle patrol on campus, as well as other improvements.

Students on campus will always remember how his main focus was always student safety. However, Quagliani remarked Tuesday night, “His main focus was not only on student safety, but on mentoring students. He could talk to them and solve their conflicts with other students. He broke down the barriers between the student body and the police department.”

Dean of Students Rebecca Johnson said, “He was fabulous when students were in a crisis situation. He was always looking out for their best interests. He was an educator at heart.” Bill Leete, UNH’s former vice president for student affairs, said Starkel added more police cruisers and “made a point of establishing a police presence on campus.” Leete recalled, “He was always available. We would talk in the middle of the night when an incident occurred, to make the right decision. He faced challenges almost on a nightly basis.”

Starkel is survived by his daughters, Jennifer Dutton and her husband Jonathan of Suffield, CT. and Amanda Starkel of Brookline, Ma. He leaves behind one granddaughter, Mackenzie Copeland Dutton. He also leaves behind two nephews, Nicholas and Jor Molchan of Boston, and most importantly his lifelong friend Sandra Starkel. He leaves behind his cat Dade (aka “Dave”) and Howard, his English bulldog the best friend that never left his side.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, December 4, 2010, at 11:00 a.m., at Our Savior Lutheran Church in South Windsor, CT. The University of New Haven provided bus transportation for anyone that wished to attend the service. The Bus left at 9:00 a.m. from the Maxcy Hall lot.