On Wednesday, Oct. 4, Kieran Barrett was promoted from captain to chief of police of the Montclair State University Police Department.
Barrett shared his thoughts on the recent promotion, having been part of the Montclair State Police Department for 25 years.
“I am deeply honored and grateful to be appointed to the position of Chief of Police at Montclair,” Barrett said. “I have been through so much of my life here over the last 25 years, and can think of no greater way to give back to this community than to lead University Police and maintain a level of safety and community that exceeds what many have experienced in law enforcement.”
Jordan Mosher, a freshman animation major, shared her thoughts on Barrett’s promotion, hearing about him at her freshman orientation.
“Well I think that’s good for him,” Mosher said. “I’m only a freshman and first like half of the semester I haven’t been here for that long, but I think I’ve heard about him. I think they talked about him at orientation so I assume he’s a really dedicated person especially with working here for that long, then I would say it’s about time if he’s been doing it [for 25 years]. At a college campus you need a lot of security especially in like a northern town, it can be a little scary to think about.”
Mosher shared what her expectations are of him as a student on campus. She also hopes for Barrett to develop a closer connection with students.
“As a police officer, I’d expect him to quickly go to the calls that he’s assigned to and as chief of police, I’d hope that he can make [responding to calls] faster if they can be a little slower, if they can be a little disorganized, I’d hope that he can make [the responses] as good as they can be or as good he sees fits and if he’s had issues with the police department here, I hope that he can sort them out and probably honestly contact the students,” Mosher said. “[The students] who have called the police department for any such reason and like ask how their experience was and if there’s anything that they think can be better and just consult the students to see if he can find out what can be best for everyone.”
Barrett hopes to achieve the embracing of fears and safety on campus.
“Many come to us from experiences of great fear in the world and the fear is real,” Barrett said. “I would like to help our community to embrace those fears and overcome them by taking ownership of our safety – fear should make us act and we can work to solve problems before they are greater.”
Tyler Paladino, a senior filmmaking major, highlighted Barrett’s dedication to his position, as he feels safe and secure on campus.
“I mean 25 years at any job, it’s a dedication that, you know, I don’t know how old he is but that’s a huge chunk of someone’s life to be dedicated to a place like this,” Paladino said. “I mean, I’ve only been here three years and I feel so safe and secure as I assume a lot of people here do, we have some issues but other than that like there’s nothing really in terms of safety issues.”
Samantha Wortche, a junior animation and special effects major, comes from a family of police and shared her reaction to the promotion.
“That’s really nice,” Wortche said. “I come from a police family like my sisters, my brothers, my dad, so like it’s nice that they’re in that line of work but it’s also really tedious because they have to try to make everybody happy. So I just appreciate him taking the time to put students first. It feels better knowing he’s here, just the presence.”
Barrett shares how he will keep the Montclair State community safe, welcoming and inclusive.
“Officers must know and understand that we serve a highly diverse campus community and that this must play a role in how we serve this community,” Barrett said. “Recruitment and retention of a diverse police agency will be important to that. But we also must understand that people who come to Montclair may not have had the best experience when interacting with law enforcement in their own communities. So we must do all we can to ensure our interactions change that perception every day.”
Barrett also shared his expectations for students.
“During a person’s time at Montclair [State], we want them to feel safe, empowered and that University Police is a true resource for them,” Barrett said.