Obituary: Philip J. Cavanaugh, retired Dept. of Public Safety official

Philip J. Cavanaugh, 70, of Amherst, retired associate director of the Department Public Safety and a 40-year veteran of the UMass Police Department, died May 31.

Born in Holyoke, he graduated from Amherst High School and served with the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. After his discharge, he served as a full-time special police officer in Amherst before joining the UMass Police Department in 1962.

He attended the State Police Academy in 1965, the NEACP Command Training Institute at Babson College and Greenfield Community College, Police Science Division, in 1971, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Search Training in 1972. He received an associate’s degree in police science from Holyoke Community College in police science and a B.S. degree in Human Development from UMass in 1975.

He served as a court officer for the UMass Police Department and was directly responsible for all narcotic investigations and enforcement. He was appointed officer-in-charge of the Sensitive Crime Unit, where he served from 1972-75 and was recognized for his work by the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.

From 1979-88, he served as deputy chief of police and associate director of the Division of Public Safety. As director and deputy chief, Cavanaugh helped provide security for dignitaries visiting campus, including U.S. Sen. George McGovern, Shirley MacLaine, Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, Mother Teresa and Raul Alfonsin, president of Argentina. He also supervised security for the New England Patriots training camp, which was held on campus from 1971-75.

He was responsible for instituting a human relations course dealing with racial and community problems at the University of Massachusetts.

He taught various courses at Greenfield Community College, UMass Amherst and the Criminal Justice Training Council.

He served on the Governor''s Drug Abuse Rehabilitation Advisory Board, the New England Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association, where he was chairman, and the Governor''s Select Committee on Drug Laws and Legislation.

He was a member of the Western Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association; the Massachusetts Association of College and University Public Safety Directors; Deputy Sheriffs Association in Hampshire and Franklin Counties; the Amherst Fire Department, where he retired as an honorary captain in 1966; the New England Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association, where he served as president from 1977-79, and was on the board of directors from 1971 to 2005; the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association; the Barnstable County Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association; the Regional Police Detectives Intelligence Association, and the Massachusetts Police Association.

He received the FBI''s Apprehension of Fugitives Award in 1971, a Special Award for Outstanding Contributions from the New England Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association and Citations of Merit for Drug Education; and the Jeremiah P. Sullivan Award for Outstanding Individual Contributions to Narcotic Enforcement, drug education and publicly promoting the goals of the New England Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association in 1981. The UMass Police Department awarded him its first lifetime achievement award in 2002.

He was a co-founder and past president of the board of directors of the New England Narcotic Officers Association for 35 years and received the President''s Award given by the association on May 26.

He leaves his wife of 48 years, Nancy (Jubinville) Cavanaugh; his mother, Loretta; four sons, Philip J. Jr., of Norway, Maine, David B., of Amherst, Glenn C., of Hadley, and Brian W. of Amherst; a brother, Thomas of Hopkinton; a sister, Jane M. Magill, of Wyomissing, Pa.; and a granddaughter.

Memorial gifts may be made to the VNA/Hospice, 168 Industrial Drive, Northampton, 01060.

The funeral will be June 4 at 9 a.m. from the Douglass Funeral Service in Amherst, with a Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Brigid''s Church.

Burial will follow in St. Brigid''s Cemetery.

Calling hours are June 3 from 5-8 p.m. at the Douglass Funeral Service.