Ralph J. Gould, Jr., director of public safety at Holyoke Community College (HCC) since 2006, will assume the post of chief of police for Smith, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire colleges on June 24.
The new chief of police brings nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience to the job, from his initial police work as a community service officer in the Town of Amherst to his time at HCC. He has served as a part-time police officer in Belchertown, a campus police officer at Amherst College, and an officer and sergeant for the Hadley Police Department.
For nearly two decades, Gould has also taught police officers on both the state and municipal levels in training and professional development programs.
“I am honored to accept the position of chief of police for the three colleges. The opportunity to serve these campuses that are so rich in history, culture, and diversity is the pinnacle of my professional career,” said Gould. “From everyone I’ve met and spoken with, I can see the Campus Police are held in high regard, and I will strive to continue and, where possible, enhance that image and level of service. Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, and Smith deserve a department committed to respect and public service to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.”
Gould, who grew up in Amherst, earned an associate’s degree from Greenfield Community College in 1998, a bachelor’s degree from Curry College in Milton, Mass., in 2005, and a master of science degree from New Charter University in San Francisco in 2012—all in criminal justice.
He is certified in a wide variety of police operations and training, including the management of critical incidents for higher education by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). Since 2009, he has also been an instructor in the IACLEA’s multidisciplinary training program on the management of critical incidents at colleges and universities; the program emphasizes coordinated collaboration in both crisis preparation and crisis response between colleges and the local community police and fire departments and other area emergency agencies. The program is certified by FEMA, and Gould is one of just eight people certified to teach an executive overview of the course to the senior staff of any college or university.
Gould, who will report to Ben Hammond, vice president for finance and administration at Mount Holyoke, is currently co-chair of the emergency planning committee at HCC and a member of its behavioral threat assessment team. He is also a member of the Massachusetts Association of College Law Enforcement Administrators, and the Western Massachusetts Chiefs of Police.
“I am delighted that Buddy will be our next chief of campus police,” said Hammond. “His leadership of public safety and police on the campus of HCC exemplifies his commitment to community policing, support of the mission of the institution, and dedication to the safety and security of faculty, staff, and students.”
The new chief replaces Robert Smith. Longtime department member Raymond LaBarre has served as interim chief of police since Smith’s departure last year.
“I want to thank Ray LaBarre for his dedication and excellent service during this transition,” said Hammond. “I also extend my gratitude to the faculty, staff, and students who served on the search committee during this process.”
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