UNHPD Gains State Accrededation


Sarah DeMatteis, Contributing Writer

Earlier this month, the University of New Haven announced the recent accreditation of the school’s police department. The department, joining just one-third of the police departments in the state, has become the first at a private college or university in Connecticut to earn Tier 1 accreditation from the State of Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training Council.

The initiative, started by an alumnae of the university, brings an added sense of security and protection to the already prevalent police force on campus.
The process to earn accreditation, which started in 2014, was led by Lindsey Michaels, who earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University in 2015 and a master’s degree in criminal investigations in 2017. She worked under the direction of Chief of Police Tracy Mooney and Assistant Chief Don Parker, to write and update the department’s entire catalogue of policies – a task typically delegated to a ranking officer within a police organization.

“Accreditation reassures students, their families, faculty and staff of the high quality of the department,” said Mooney. “It is also important because our department needs to serve as a model for students at the University’s distinguished Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences.”

“As a member of the campus community I am extremely grateful that our police department has taken the initiative to make this campus safer,” said Shonna Carlson, a senior criminal justice major. “Being a criminal justice student it is beneficial to see how various systems or institutions evolve when they know they can do more. The police department has always had an amazing presence on campus and I think this change will only strengthen it.”

All officers employed by the UNHPD have been trained with the State of Connecticut Police Officers Standards and Training Council Academy and have full arrest powers, under the city of West Haven. The department practices community policing, hoping to open a dialogue throughout campus that allows students and faculty to approach officers as needed.

“Accredited law enforcement agencies demonstrate excellence in management and service delivery,” said Ron Quagliani, associate vice president of public safety and administrative services.

In addition to make campus a safe place for students and faculty, the switch from Campus Police to the University of New Haven Police Department serves as a model for those students pursuing careers in the criminal justice field.

Shelby St. Clair, President of the American Criminal Justice Association at the university said, “The university police department being accredited is a true testament to the faculty and resources we have on our campus. As a predominately criminal justice school it is an incredible opportunity for us as students to witness this accomplishment.”