AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst has appointed John K. Horvath of the Hartford Police Department in Connecticut to be the new police chief and director of public safety. He succeeds Johnny Whitehead, who served as chief from 2009 until this past February. Horvath begins his new duties in September.
James P. Sheehan, UMass Amherst’s vice chancellor for administration and finance, announced the appointment. Horvath was chosen from a group of 88 applicants for the top job at the UMass Police Department (UMPD) in a search that was coordinated by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
Sheehan says, “We look forward to working with Chief Horvath in his new role and have confidence that he will continue to grow UMPD’s reputation as a top law enforcement agency in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
Horvath says, “I am honored to become the next chief of police for the UMass Amherst Police Department and serve our campus community with the dedicated members of the department. I pursued this position because of the team approach at UMass Amherst and the sense of pride that is evident. As chief, I will seek to make us stronger in both of those areas, ensure that the police department works with university stakeholders in order to maintain a safe campus environment while at the same time, building relationships that will enhance the educational experience for all students.”
Horvath joins the university with more than 20 years of law enforcement and security experience. He rose through the ranks at the Hartford Police Department and has served as assistant chief of police since January 2011. From August 2007 to January 2011, Horvath served as deputy chief of police in command of more than 100 uniformed patrol personnel in the Community Services Bureau.
He joined the Hartford department in 1994 as a police recruit and served as an officer, sergeant and lieutenant. Prior to joining the Hartford Police, Horvath began his career with the Connecticut Department of Correction in 1990.
Horvath holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in individualized studies from Charter Oak State College. He has attained executive level training through the FBI National Academy and Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police. In 2010, Horvath graduated from Leadership Greater Hartford’s Quest Program and has maintained his membership within the network to advocate for a stronger community.
Horvath’s professional affiliations include the FBI National Academy Associates (FBINAA), Police Executive Research Forum, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Connecticut Chiefs of Police Association, Capitol Region Chiefs of Police Association, and American Society for Industrial Security.