Douglas Kern, a 20-year member of the University Police Department who holds a bachelorís degree in history from the University in 1973 and a masterís in criminal justice in 1975, has been appointed UPDís interim director. He replaces James R. Williams, who retires after 25 years as UPD Director.
"We thank Jim for his dedication and contributions to the University and wish him the very best in his retirement," said James P. Doellefeld, Interim Vice Presi-dent for Student Affairs.
"Under Jim Williamsí leadership, the UPD became a highly professional organization," said Henry Kirchner, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. "He set high standards for himself and the department, then achieved them, maintained them and surpassed them."
Said Williams, a 1973 masterís degree graduate from the School of Crim-inal Justice, "I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the University, and appreciate all the support that the administration gave me and the department over the past 25 years."
Kern has served as the departmentís interim assistant director since the death of John Henighan a year ago. Beginning his career as a patrolman in 1976, he was an officer for six years and then a detective for 12.
In addition to his work at the University, he has had an extensive background in developing and implementing in-service training programs for SUNY public safety officers, particularly in the fields of human relations and the handling of campus racial incidents.
He has contributed several articles and book reviews to law enforcement publications based in New York State, including "Managing Racial Incidents with a Team Approach" in 1993 for Campus Law Enforcement Journal. Kern was awarded the State University of New York Public Safety Directors Award for Excellence in Training Instruction in both 1989 and 1992.
"Chief Kern will provide the critical leadership necessary to keep this campus safe and secure for all," said Doellefeld.
Kern said his respect for the Univer-sity community and its police force have covered nearly half his 44 years. "The University at Albany has always been a great place to go to school and to work," he said. "The department is very community-based and oriented and will continue to be so. Iím particularly proud of the Park, Walk & Talk Program, which is part of this community-based philosophy, taking police officers out of their cars and out into the campus community, finding out peopleís concerns, and just being a presence.
"I fully believe that presence equals impact. A police department reduces crime by increasing its presence."
More than awards and successful programs, Kern said, he is most proud "of the relationships Iíve developed with all aspects of the University community during those years. The number of people I converse with on a first-name basis whom I fully trust and who trust me ó thatís what Iím most proud of. Thatís the result of 20 years of work ó good hard work ó and itís critically important to a police officer and a police department."
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