Calling for a strong emphasis on “communication, collaboration and engagement” with the campus and local communities, new Police Chief John K. Horvath was officially sworn in during an Oct. 4 ceremony at the Massachusetts Room of the Mullins Center.
Along with a large contingent of UMPD officers and staff, the event was attended by about 75 people, including local and university officials and fellow police officers from Amherst, Amherst College, Hadley, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Boston, Massachusetts State Police, University of Connecticut Health Center, Cheshire, Conn., East Hartford, Conn., and the Hartford Police Department, where Horvath served for 18 years, most recently as assistant chief for operations.
Horvath took the oath of office from James Sheehan, vice chancellor for Administration and Finance, and his badge was pinned on by his daughter, Sarah. Horvath’s wife, Dina, and his mother and stepfather also attended the event.
In addition to his family and former colleagues, Horvath also thanked Deputy Chief Patrick Archbald for leading the department as interim chief since the departure of Johnny Whitehead last February. “The UMass Police Department is an excellent department, due in large part to the officers and the [campus] administration.”
Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said the department’s priorities should be on “educating, preventing and intervening” while creating a “safe and secure and nurturing community.”
Horvath promised to work with the campus community as well town officials and residents to address important issues. “I believe that it is important that our students enjoy their college experience, but when that starts impeding on quality of life for residents in those neighborhoods or becomes dangerous based on some of their behaviors or activities that's when the police department needs to step in,” he said.
Photos: Chief John K. Horvath (above). At right, Horvath shares a laugh with Amherst Fire Chief Tim Nelson, Bob LaFord of Environmental Health and Safety, and AFD EMTs. (John Solem photos)