Magdalena Silver and Andrew Fournier were recently promoted to the Deputy Chief positions for the University of Connecticut’s regional campus and Storrs campus.
“Both of them have over ten years of service at UConn and have had increasingly more responsibilities in their supervisory duties within the department,” Chief Rhynhart said, “They’ve had multiple areas of responsibilities that really are the areas that make up the jobs they’re going to be doing now.”
Fournier said he is excited to expand his responsibilities in his new position.
“In people’s careers you always want to move onward and upward and this came at a time in my career that it made sense to take on a new challenge,” Fournier said.
Fournier has worked in a supervisory role in the department for the past ten years.
“Certainly some of the jobs I’ll be doing now I’ve done in the past, but there are also some new roles that were included as well that I’m looking forward to taking on,” Fournier said.
Silver said she will enjoy working with the different campuses around the state.
“It’s like going to work in a new place and just bouncing around to these new places all week so it keeps it new, it keeps it vibrant and I’m looking forward to that,” Silver said.
Silver said she thinks open communication between the police department at the campuses and the administrative leadership is key to ensuring the department can operate effectively.
“Leadership is key, they need to make sure they’re supported, [that] they have the open communication with our campus leadership so we can all work together moving forward,” Silver said. “As we learn how to communicate with each other and work together in problems, they start solving themselves,” Silver said.
Silver said she looks forward to working with the diverse regional campuses as they grow.
“It’s a challenge, and I always want to be challenged, so I’m always looking for ways to grow [and] I think this is the perfect opportunity,” Silver said, “It’s very exciting to be in the middle of it, seeing something from the ground up.”
Fournier said he wants to improve the already-developed police department at Storrs.
“Something that appealed to me about staying in Storrs is that we have a long tradition here, a long history in this department, I get to step in and try to make it even better,” Fournier said.
Fournier said he does not plan to implement any major changes, but will still look for ways in which the department can improve.
“I don’t see a great need for anything to be fixed but I get to put my own stamp on it and really take it in a direction I see would be good for the future,” Fournier said, “I get to take something good and make it even better.”
Fournier graduated from UConn with a degree in Political Science in 1995 and received his master’s degree in 2001. He worked at the state legislature for several years before becoming a UCPD officer in 2003.
“I was glad that I was able to keep my state time and work in a community that I knew from the past and enjoyed being here,” Fournier said.
Silver has been an officer for 21 years and worked in a municipality before coming to UConn.
“I was looking for a different community, [I] came here and it was just a great place, it immediately felt like home,” Silver said. “Sometimes it feels like this is where I was homegrown even though I started elsewhere.”
Silver is currently pursuing her PhD in Emergency Management, focusing on how emergency responders work with the homeless when there is a natural disaster.
Despite the fact that Silver and Fournier have separate domains of responsibility, they will both continue to work with all campuses, Rhynhart said.
“As much as Storrs and the regionals have their own identities, Maggie will be involved in Storrs and Andy will be involved in regionals, and it will be my responsibility to make sure we’re continuing to provide consistent services to our communities regardless of where they are in the state,” Rhynhart said
Rhynhart said one of his responsibilities as chief is to ensure a service equality for students at every campus.
“I firmly believe in the one UConn statement,” Rhynhart said, “A student in Stamford should have the same resources from the PD as a student in Storrs.”
Rhynhart said he believes Fournier and Silver embody the values he wants the department to move towards embodying at every locus.
“They really embody what I’m looking for and what I want our department to be,” Rhynhart said. “I want ours to be innovative, progressive, I want to show the human side of policing compassion, empathy, and they exhibit that.”
Rhynhart said he believes Silver and Fournier will be able to lead the department effectively towards these ideals.
“They will lead the people that work for them in that direction as well. We want to lead by example and both of them are able to do that, and will lead the rest of the department into the future of where we want to be,” Rhynhart said.