John Horvath to join UMass Police as chief

By Chelsie Field

A top official in the Hartford Police Department in Connecticut has been appointed the next police chief of the University of Massachusetts.


John Horvath, the assistant chief of police in Hartford, will take over duties as police chief and director of public safety at UMass on Sept. 24. Horvath beat out 88 other applicants to secure the post.

“There was a very thorough search for a chief. What we were looking for was someone with a broad range of criminal justice experience and their ability to work with many different groups in a collaborative approach. We think Chief Horvath will do that for us,” said UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski.

Horvath succeeds Johnny Whitehead, who served as chief from 2009 until this past February when he left for a job at Rice University. Patrick Archbald, the department’s deputy chief, will continue to serve as interim chief until Horvath arrives on campus.

“I am honored to become the next chief of police for the UMass Amherst Police Department and serve our campus community with the dedicated members of the department,” Horvath said in a written statement. “I pursued this position because of the team approach at UMass Amherst and the sense of pride that is evident. As chief, I will seek to make us stronger in both of those areas, ensure that the police department works with university stakeholders in order to maintain a safe campus environment while at the same time, building relationships that will enhance the educational experience for all students.”

Horvath, who will earn $140,000 a year, has more than 20 years of law enforcement experience, according to a University press release. He joined the Hartford department in 1994 as a police recruit and served as an officer, sergeant and lieutenant. He has served as assistant chief of police there since January 2011, the release stated.

Horvath earned his master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University in 2010, the release added.

Chelsie Field is a Collegian Columnist. She can be reached at [email protected]