Interim Police Chief Appointed
Mount Holyoke College Vice President
for Finance and Administration Ben Hammond announced this
week that deputy police chief Ray LaBarre will serve as interim
chief of police for Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Hampshire colleges
until a replacement is found for current chief Robert Smith,
who will leave his position July 6.
LaBarre currently oversees Hampshire
College police operations for the three-college department.
Robert Smith joined the department
in October 2010, following a 26-year career with the Massachusetts
State Police. At the time, he and his wife relocated from
Arlington to South Hadley with their youngest son, while
two college-age children remained in the Boston area.
"I look on my tenure as chief for the three colleges as a highlight of my 30-year
policing career, but right now it's best for my family to return to the Boston
area," said Smith, who has accepted the position of director of public safety
at Emerson College.
LaBarre has been a member of
the Campus Police department since 1985. He has led the Campus
Police operations at Hampshire for the past four years, and
served the Mount Holyoke campus for more than 20 years.
A native of South Hadley, LaBarre is a graduate of Holyoke
Community College and the Campus Police Academy. He is certified
in crime scene search, sexual assault investigations, and
as a DARE Officer, and he has been trained in managing critical
incidents for higher education institutions.
“Ray has done an excellent job in leading the force at Hampshire and strengthening
connections between the department and the Hampshire community.
He has also been a key leader in the department overall from the beginning
of the three-campus partnership,” said Hammond. “As interim chief, he will
spend time on all three campuses but will be based at Mount Holyoke, where
the administrative functions of the department reside.”
working with the outgoing chief to effect a smooth transition,