The University of Connecticut Police Department will replace the police department that currently serves the UConn Health campus.
“It only makes sense with what we have…for them to work with us,” said UCPD Chief Hans Rhynhart.
Rhynhart said the move will help the UCPD better serve all the UConn campuses located across the state.
“One large organization will be able to provide enhanced and more diverse training,” Rhynhart said.
Rhynhart also said that, by bringing UCPD to UConn Health, they will be able to increase their dispatch capabilities.
Rhynhart said because the university’s impact reaches throughout the state, UCPD should have the same presence.
“We operate a state-wide agency, that’s UConn,” Rhynhart said. “UConn is a state-wide organization and presence.”
Rhynhart said he wants to make sure UConn students anywhere in the state receive the same quality services.
“Regardless of where you are in the state, we want to provide great service. It’s not just in Storrs,” Rhynhart said.
The UCPD recently went through the process of being reaccredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Rhynhart said UCPD and the police department at UConn Health will work to bring their policies in line with CALEA standards.
“I don’t think it will be hard,” Rhynhart said. “We’ll work with them to have a better understanding of (CALEA standards).”
Rhynhart said policing UConn Health has an additional dimension due to the hospital that is located on the campus and operated by UConn.
“It’s a complex environment down there with the hospital,” Rhynhart said.
Rhynhart said there were bumps during the transition that they worked out with UConn Health.
UCPD will discuss the transition with people at UConn Health and that the plan has not been finalized yet, said Rhynhart. He also said they are currently working with focus groups to better understand how the Farmington location operates.
“At the end of the process, everyone might not agree with what we do, but they will have had the opportunity to participate and I think people appreciate that,” Rhynhart said.
Rhynhart said he is looking forward to the partnership.
“I’m very excited,” Rhynhart said. “They’re a great group of people down there (who are) passionate about the work they do.”