Chief Higgins named as one of the ‘Most Influential People in Security’

Photo of Ronnell A. Higgins
Ronnell A. Higgins

Ronnell A. Higgins, chief of police and director of public safety at Yale, has been named as one of “The Most Influential People in Security” in 2017 by Security magazine.

All told, the magazine honored 21 individuals from corporate security, government, think tanks, universities, cybersecurity and more, who were chosen by their peers because they are making a difference in their enterprises, communities, and nations.

Higgins has served as chief of police at Yale University since 2011, and in 2015, he was also named director of public safety.

Throughout his 20-year career with Yale,” noted the magazine, “he has been instrumental in significantly reducing crime, twice breaking all-time records for crime reduction at Yale. Higgins has a reputation for driving sustainable initiatives that continue to ensure a safe campus and community by preventing crime, championing exceptional relationships and building community trust through collaboration with members of both the University and City of New Haven communities.”

The magazine also cited Higgins for initiating a number of programs that directly impact safety on campus, from his weekly BlueStat meetings with focused operational and solutions-oriented reviews with staff to promoting a culture of collaboration and communication with leaders citywide.

He has benchmarked key strategies that deliver exceptional value at Yale University, and he has advanced the training and professional development of security officers and security managers, as well as fully integrated and maximized the use of public safety systems throughout campus,” the article noted.

Active in the community and the industry, Higgins was appointed commissioner for the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System by Connecticut State Senator Martin Looney, and he was appointed a member of the Police Officers Standards and Training Council by Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. Higgins is an executive fellow with the Police Foundation and serves as an executive board member with Project Youth Court, a restorative justice program for juveniles. Higgins is a past-president of the South Central Connecticut Chiefs of Police and serves on the executive board for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) for Connecticut. Higgins also served as a team member on the Police Foundation Team that conducted the assessment of the Saint Louis County Police Department following the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

Higgins holds a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense & Security, as well as a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement administration from the University of New Haven. He is a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy and holds a certificate in law enforcement education from the University of Virginia. He successfully completed the Crisis Leadership in Higher Education seminar at Harvard’s Kennedy Graduate School of Education, and he is an adjunct professor of criminal justice at the University of New Haven.

Campus & Community