Hans Rhynhart permanently promoted to Chief of Police

Hans Rhynhart was recently permanently appointed to the position of chief of police for the University of Connecticut police department, but will also continue to serve as the interim director of public safety. (Zhelun Lang/The Daily Campus)

Hans Rhynhart was recently permanently appointed to the position of chief of police for the University of Connecticut police department.

“His experience at UConn and his knowledge really made him rise to the top among the applicants,” Stephanie Reitz, UConn’s spokeswoman said.

Chief Rhynhart said he is excited to continue his role as chief of police in a permanent capacity.

“I hope to carry on the tradition of good leadership,” Rhynhart said.

Rhynhart has been serving as chief of police since June 1, 2016 following the retirement of Barbara O’Conner from the position.

“In the months that have passed since that time, Chief Rhynhart has continued to distinguish himself as a highly-effective leader, a trusted colleague, and a conscientious police officer who is deeply committed to UConn and the mission of Public Safety on our campuses,” an announcement from President Susan Herbst in the UConn Daily Digest, said.

Rhynhart said he treated his position as interim chief of police as if it had been his permanent job.

“I went into it with the mindset that I was going to make decisions and run the department as if I were permanent,” Rhynhart said, “There are no half days in police work.”

Rhynhart said while he is the public head of UCPD, the department is truly composed of the officers who work for the community on a daily basis.

“I’m just one piece in helping them do what they do,” Rhynhart said.

Reitz said Rhynhart’s experience working in a college police department is one of the factors that led the search committee to select him.

“[Rhynhart] knows college policing which is different in a lot of ways from city policing,” Reitz said.

Reitz said the committee considered applicants from a wide pool including people within and outside UConn PD.

Rhynhart said he thinks the university’s ability to see his performance on the job helped them decide he was best suited for the position.

“[The university was] reviewing and receiving real-time feedback from my colleagues,” Rhynhart said.

Reitz said Rhynhart is a well-respected figure at UConn.

“Over his long tenure at UConn – and especially in his leadership positions – he has earned the respect and confidence of the university community, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with him,” Herbst’s announcement said.

Reitz said that Rhynhart’s level-headed temperament will be an asset to UConn.

“He’s calm and even-keeled in a crisis, which is a great asset for the university,” Reitz said.

Rhynhart graduated from UConn in 1993 with a degree in Renewable Natural Resources and worked as an environmental analyst before becoming a police officer.

He has been a police officer for 18 years and has been working at UCPD for 16 years.

He’s calm and even-keeled in a crisis, which is a great asset for the university.
— Stephanie Reitz, UConn’s spokeswoman

“It was the greatest career move I ever made,” Rhynhart said.

Rhynhart will also continue to serve as the interim director of public safety.

“I’m thankful that I’m going to have great people to work with here, not only in the department, but in the UConn community,” Rhynhart said.


Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at anna.aldrich@uconn.edu. She tweets @ZarraAnna.