Porter became chief in april, after nine years as director of public safety at UMass-Dartmouth. The first African American police chief in Rhode Island, he arrives at a time when the University is preparing to arm the campus police force.
BAM What drew you to campus police work?
Porter In my first co-op job as a student at Northeastern I worked in campus public safety. I enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere. Back then it was sort of the benchmark of community policing.
BAM What does community policing entail on a college campus?
Porter Visibility is going to be a huge part of my plan. Students will see the officers and engage with the officers.
BAM What''s the benefit of that?
Porter It allows officers to be in tune with the community, to be proactive instead of reactive. Larceny is one of our biggest crimes. Officers can teach students simple prevention steps.
BAM What’s your role?
Porter My role is to strengthen communication and collaboration. We’re here to provide a safer campus. We need a more student-centered approach.
BAM What will be your priorities in arming the police?
Porter I will make sure the training level exceeds the national average, and that community policing is imple-mented.
BAM African American officers from around the region plan to attend your swearing-in. What does that mean to you?
Porter I feel honored. And privileged.