Yale Police internally promotes two new Assistant Chiefs and Lieutenants

Yale Police Department (YPD) Chief Ronnell Higgins has announced the promotions of Michael Patten and Steven Woznyk to the position of assistant chief. As part of a departmental reorganization, Higgins has divided the responsibilities of what was formerly one assistant chief position into two portfolios.

“This reorganization is a reflection of the changing needs of the community in which we serve. To me, this structure is part of an important commitment to improving how we provide and support community-oriented policing,” says Higgins. “We have allocated and dedicated people and resources to focus on specific areas and needs.”

Patten will now oversee community patrol operations and support services, which currently includes the community impact unit; car, bicycle, foot and motorcycle patrols; the main YPD communications and dispatch center; and emergency services. Woznyk will oversee YPD’s administrative functions to include personnel & labor relations, training & professional development, professional standards, and audits and inspections. Woznyk will also oversee the investigative services unit, forensics, and crime analysis and crime response.

By splitting the responsibilities of the position that Higgins himself once held, he hopes that the YPD will be able to meet the community’s growing needs and demands — which now runs a wide gamut from incident reporting (from harassment to homeland security) to safety education and awareness. “Ultimately, we want to raise the bar on YPD’s performance and close the gap with the community we serve by improving crime prevention strategies and response,” continues Higgins. “We want our community to know the services we provide, know who we are, and know the faces of our department.”

To fill the lieutenant positions that Patten and Woznyk have vacated, Higgins has appointed Jay Jones and Brian Logan to the rank of lieutenant. Higgins has also broadened the scope of the duties of lieutenants Joseph Vitale and William Holohan; Vitale will now coordinate police activities on the south campus (which includes the medical campus and downtown) and Holohan will coordinate police activities on the north campus.

Additionally, Higgins has created a new position of sensitive crimes and support coordinator, to which he has appointed Sergeant Marnie Robbins-Hoffman. A position that has been in design for some time, Higgins expects Robbins-Hoffman to be a key partner for the campus in the response, education and prevention of crimes such as domestic violence, stalking and workplace violence.

“I am thrilled that the Yale Police Department was able to promote from within our own organization,” says Higgins. “At this time, I am pleased that the investment we have made in training our own people has helped contribute to the professional development of these officers which ultimately benefits the University. They have already demonstrated their commitment to Yale and I know they will continue to strive for performance excellence in their new roles. These are officers with deep experience and insight, who will lead YPD towards mentoring and training the next generation of officers. This is how we want to retain the very best.

“Providing for a safe and secure environment while enhancing the quality of life is our top priority at Yale. Crime on campus in 2010 was at its lowest level in 20 years,” concludes Higgins. “These appointments can only strengthen the University’s capacity to keep the campus a safe place to live, work and study.”

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