The newest members of the Boston College Police Department include (L-R) officers Marty Curley, Michael Callahan, Ryan Carr, Deirdre Mullane, Hillary Mullane and Janet Moura. (Photo courtesy of the Boston College Police Department)
Training 'to the Highest Standard'
Newest recruits bolster an already strong BC Police Department
By Stephen Gawlik
Three of them have master's degrees. One is the daughter of a Boston Police Department detective. One is a 12-year veteran of the New York City police force, another served with the Lynn Police Department.
What do they have in common?
All are among the most recent members of the Boston College Police Department, and to hear their new boss say it, they are adding to what is already one of the best college police departments in the country.
"We train to the highest standard," said BCPD Chief Robert Morse. "This is a highly skilled professional group and it shows in the work they are doing to keep this campus safe."
Nine new officers have joined BCPD in the last two years, plus several new security officers. Their arrival has taken place in the midst of several trends and factors - including the addition of new residence halls and subsequent increase in the campus population - administrators say necessitate a larger public safety department to better serve the University community.
Locating, recruiting and hiring those new officers was a challenging task as Morse and his command staff sought excellent officers who would not only do excellent police work, but also fit in at BC. With 53 officers, Morse says, Boston College has the smallest police force of the major universities in Boston. The University's reputation, and that of his department, is such that it can attract some of the best officers in the job market.
"We had a large applicant pool for these jobs," said Morse. "We wanted the highest caliber officers to add to the professional force we currently have."
Officer Michael La Natra, who joined the University last year after 12 years with the New York City Police Department, says, "This is a very professional group and the skill level here is as high as it is anywhere else. I am proud to be among such talented men and women."
Morse said one important characteristic of the new crop of officers like La Natra is their combination of experience and training. Officer Ronald Perry served as a deputy sheriff in Florida and worked on the Lynn Police Department.
Likewise, several officers have distinguished academic records, some with advanced degrees. Officer Ryan Carr graduated at the top of his class from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Transit Police Academy and was selected by his classmates to address the graduating class.
Additionally, some of the newest members of the BCPD come from police pedigree: Officer Deirdre Mullane is the daughter of a Boston Police Department detective and Officer Elizabeth Fantasia and her husband are both police officers.
"Our goal is to be the best college police force anywhere," says Morse. "These new officers help us step closer to that goal.
Police officers at Boston College are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days per year and have a wide range of responsibilities. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts grants police authority to BC officers, giving them the same authority and powers as local or state police on Boston College property. Additionally, Boston College police officers have deputy sheriff powers for use in off-campus situations.
Officers are trained at approved police academies and are certified in first aid and cardiac pulmonary resuscitation. Additionally, 15 officers are qualified as emergency medical technicians. All officers receive additional hours of specialized training each year to keep them current with changing trends and developments in law enforcement and emergency medical services.
Throughout the year, officers conduct seminars and other community service activities to keep the students, faculty, and staff aware of issues on and around campus.
For more information, see the Boston College Police Department Web site at www.bc.edu/offices/bcpd/.