URI names Police Maj. Michael Jagoda new director of public safety/chief of police

KINGSTON, R.I. — June 14, 2021 — The University of Rhode Island has named University Police Maj. Michael A. Jagoda director of public safety and chief of police effective June 19.

In his new role, Jagoda will oversee the following units and offices: Alarm Division, Emergency Management, Environmental Health and Safety, Fire and Life Safety, Transportation and Parking, University Police, Campus Security and Communications and Technology.

“The University’s new director of public safety and chief of police has been URI’s police major for the last six years and is a distinguished law enforcement and public safety professional,” Rider said. “Mike’s expertise, compassion, sense of humor, values, and eagerness to work with all groups across the campus will continue to serve us well as he takes on this more expansive and critical position.

“In his interviews, Mike talked about the need to change the warrior mentality in law enforcement to a guardian mindset. He not only emphasized a personal approach to policing at URI, he essentially put ‘community’ at the center of community policing.”

Jagoda was selected from more than 30 candidates in a national search. He will succeed Stephen N. Baker who will retire from the position of director of public safety/police chief June 18 after 16 years of dedicated service at URI.

In his role as major at URI, Jagoda has provided strategic and operational oversight to 32 sworn police officers, 17 security personnel and six emergency dispatchers; served as the second in command for the police; and supported URI’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion with programs and initiatives focused on community policing in partnership with faculty, staff and local community residents. He has worked with local, state and federal law enforcement in matters relating to homeland security, major criminal investigations and cybercrimes.

“I am honored to have been chosen for a position that is central to our entire campus community’s safety, well-being and security,” Jagoda said. “As a URI graduate, I am proud of my alma mater’s growth and its global reputation for excellence. I will work closely with students, faculty and staff to ensure that all public safety units continue to work to ensure that URI is a welcoming and exciting place where everyone feels at home. I have greatly enjoyed my time as police major, and I want to thank retiring Chief Baker and all of our university police officers for helping to build a police department of which we can all be proud. I am ready for all of the great opportunities that await me in my new role.”

Prior to joining URI, Jagoda served in the Connecticut State Police from September 1993 through April 2015, most recently as commanding officer of Troop G, Bridgeport Operations, during which he managed 102 sworn law enforcement and civilian personnel and oversaw police services for 21 towns. He was the commander in charge of the Connecticut State Police command post during the mass shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in 2012. For his service, Jagoda was awarded the Sandy Hook Elementary School Meritorious Commendation. He received Connecticut’s TOP COP award in 2001.

He has management experience in all aspects of public safety, including development of Connecticut’s pandemic emergency plan, as well as other emergency and continuity of operations plans, supervision of cause and origin investigations of all fatal fires and arson, responsibility for fire code compliance, field inspections, public education statewide, and formal training in the National Incident Command System, which is mandated under the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Jagoda has a master’s degree in public administration from Post University and a bachelor’s degree in consumer affairs from the University of Rhode Island. He is a member of the FBI National Academy and served on Gov. Gina Raimondo’s Working Group for Gun Safety in 2018 and 2019.