U of I Campus Police Chief Going to UConn
The University of Illinois is losing its police chief.
Chief and Director of Public Safety Barbara O'Connor says she'll be leaving in a few months to take the same job at the University of Connecticut, not far from where she grew up. She's expected to leave for UConn next spring, but a starting date hasn't been set. O'Connor says she's in talks with U of I Chancellor Phyllis Wise about setting up a transition team.
O'Connor became the U of I's chief in 2009, coming from the University of Massachusetts, where she also served as chief. She has since added the role of director for the university's Police Training Institute. The Chief says some of her greatest accomplishments include simply boosting the level of service on campus.
"You really want your officers to come to work with a sense of pride," O'Connor said. "We are service driven, and our primary mission is not us, and it's not about us, it's about our community. The University of Illinois Police Department has a great culture in that regard, so I hope they continue doing great work."
The U of I's Police Training Institute was slated for closure at the end of this month, but was recently given a 6-month extension. O'Connor says she holds out hope that area legislators will find a solution for saving the facility.
O'Connor, who earns $190,000 annually at the U of I, will earn a salary at UConn of $164,700. She grew up in Granby, Massacusetts, and owns a house in in the city of Hadley. O'Connor wil replace retiring UConn Police Chief Robert Hudd.