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Postell Honored for Community Policing

Sgt. Jeffrey Postell: “I was raised to treat people with respect and to be fair, which is a huge part of being a police officer.” (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Sean Smith | Chronicle Editor

Published: Dec. 12, 2013

Boston College Police Sgt. Jeffrey Postell is the inaugural winner of the Sean Collier Award for Innovations in Community-Oriented Policing.

The award, established by the Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (MACLEA), is named for the MIT campus police officer slain in a confrontation with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects last April.

“Not many things make me speechless, but in this case I was at a loss for words,” said Postell, who will receive his honor at the Dec. 19 MACLEA meeting. “I have received many awards, honors and other kinds of recognition throughout my career, but this one is different. This is an award named after a young man who had his future cut short, who wanted to do nothing more than to serve honorably and make a difference in his communities through the respect he earned. In essence, everything a police officer should be.

“Words cannot describe how humbled and honored I am to be named the first recipient of this award. But I must say that none of our department’s community policing efforts would be possible if not for the support from our staff, who are actively engaged and participate in those efforts day to day.”

A member of the BCPD for four years, Postell was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2011, with the responsibility of managing the department’s crime prevention and community policing initiatives and serving as the department’s community relations liaison.

Under Postell, according to BC Public Safety Director and Police Chief John King, the Community Resource Officer (CRO) program has grown to its highest level of officer-participation, with 27 members of the department now actively involved as resources officers to residence halls, academic and administrative buildings, and student organizations. Postell has devised an organized approach to monthly crime prevention presentations for the CROs by developing with them monthly themes and participation material to facilitate and standardize presentations.

King also praised Postell’s use of social media as a communications tool for law enforcement, particularly with students. Postell has improved the BCPD website and developed its Facebook page and Twitter account, and is working with students to develop brief video clips with quick, focused crime-prevention messages for social media outlets. Postell also has been a major supporter of the Massachusetts Special Olympics, King added, and was recently named the statewide campus law enforcement liaison for the organization.

Postell, said King, is “a highly motivated police officer with a strong commitment to community policing, a passion for crime prevention and community relations, and a warm and engaging personality.”

Describing his approach to his job, Postell said, “I was raised to treat people with respect and to be fair, which is a huge part of being a police officer. To me, there are four qualities that are important to this profession: care, compassion, communication and commitment. I call these my ‘four C’s to effective policing.’”