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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    26-Year NYPD Veteran Named Chief of Police

    NYPD veteran Robert Lenahan is the new Police Chief of the Stony Brook University campus police force. It may be a different type of police work, but the 26-year NYPD veteran is confident that under his authority, things will run smoothly.

    “It’s certainly a transition but it’s one I’m comfortable with,” Lenahan said.

    Lenahan became the school’s director of emergency management in January and in just under a year — the new Police Chief.

    Chief Richard Young was the head of Stony Brook University’s police force before Lenahan was appointed to the new position. Young retired after 20 years to spend more time at home. Lenahan was Captain and Executive Officer of the 30th Precinct in Washington Heights, Manhattan, from 2000 to 2003. During that time he was one of the officers responsible for sustaining the security perimeter at the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    “That was long and tiresome,” Lenahan said. “I worked 15 hour days, seven days a week, but the good part about it was that I was still standing there when other people weren’t. My sacrifice is nothing to what other people did.”

    He was also selected to be the commanding officer of the 25th precinct in Manhattan in 2003. In 2004, he was assigned to the Republican National Convention, where he operated advanced security measures, connect with federal agencies, and protect the VIPs that night. He oversaw a staff of 300 in 2006 and was a part of a citywide study of current time trends and implemented crime reduction strategies.

    With every new position given, there are plenty of challenges that the person must conquer.

    “The challenges that not only Stony Brook faces, but every university especially after Virginia Tech — the challenge is really, ‘How do we keep people safe?'” he said. “I think as far as emergency preparedness and emergency communication compared to any other university, we are way ahead of the game,” Lenahan said.

    The campus-wide budget cuts are not affecting the police department. Chief Lenahan hopes it stays that way, but even if some positions are cut, it won’t affect the service the police provide.

    Lenahan is staying positive and keeping his ears open to anyone who asks for help. He wants the students to know that he intends to provide a safe environment for everyone.

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