Position: Assistant Chief of Police
Years of Service: 1.5
Eric Olsen, Assistant Chief of Police at Stony Brook University, joined the Stony Brook family in September 2011. Prior to coming to SBU, the New York City native worked for the New York City Police Department as a Captain for twenty-one years. You could say he left the Big Apple for our big campus!
His last assignments with the NYPD were in the Detective Bureau as the Executive Officer of the Crime Scene Unit and then as the Commanding Officer of Zone #17 Detectives in Queens. Olsen states his time at the NYPD was an amazing experience because, “You see the best and worst of humanity – the highs and lows. You find you can do things you never thought you could do."
In his new role as the Campus Assistant Chief of Police, Eric enjoys the interaction with the students and feels honored to be charged with protecting the future of our society. He finds it particularly satisfying when the department receives positive feedback on how their programs have benefited students. Olsen notes his meeting with the Muslim Student Association this past week where he received encouraging reactions regarding police interaction with the student body.
The University Police Department (UPD) also faces some serious challenges, such as aiming to prevent the incidents that have taken place at other universities. “The pressure is on all of us at University Police to be constantly vigilant. Our Officers are always training in preparation for these incidents, but the real challenge is doing everything in our power to prevent one of these incidents before it occurs.” Another challenge is to provide a safe environment for the students, faculty and staff of the University while still defending the right to free speech and expression.
Eric also makes certain that the UPD actively pursues environmentally friendly and responsible programs. For instance, every year the UPD takes part in “Recyclemania” and recently migrated most of their forms to paperless computer files to avoid the unnecessary use of paper. In addition, the UPD also purchased “flex-fuel” vehicles for Parking Enforcement Services and are in the process of purchasing electric scooters for the patrol force.
Olsen takes pride in his work and looks forward to getting more involved with the Stony Brook University community. Olsen remarked the UPD has just hired a new Community Relations representative and will be putting together new programs to promote UPD interaction with faculty, staff and students.
“My grandfather told me that a sense of fairness is one of the greatest qualities a leader can possess. He told me if you treat people fair they might not always agree with your decisions, but they will always respect you. I have tried to live and work with that in mind and it’s been very successful, both professionally and personally.” All’s fair in the big Apple and at Stony Brook.
Article written by Lauren Joy Sharkey, Stony Brook Student