New Chief of Police coming soon

Former Supervisory Special Agent Robert Warfel’s arrival is to be determined

Robert Warfel will become the next Chief of Police for the Xavier University Police Department (XUPD), replacing Chief Daniel Hect, who left the position in September 2018. Warfel is committed to have a start date ready for the police department by the week of Feb. 17.

Warfel will later be joined by  an Assistant Chief of Police position — the first one in Xavier’s history. 

“He’s a great candidate,”  Jeffrey Coleman, Vice President of Risk Management. “He’s a relatively young guy, and he’s going to be a long-term fit for Xavier.”

Warfel served in the FBI for 21 years, achieving the rank of Supervisory Special Agent. The position was offered to Warfel in December 2018 after a 12-week interview process. However, due tothe partial government shutdown his transition to his new role has been delayed.

“He was working on some cases, but after the government shutdown, all of that came to a screeching halt,” Coleman explained. 

Campus will have to be willing to wait for his arrival. Currently, Warfel is facilitating the FBI’s National Academy, an intensive 10-week course designed for police chiefs and other law enforcement executives. 

“We want him here, but if not here, that’s the best place for him to be,” Coleman said. “He’s making great contacts with law enforcement leaders from across the country, and it will be good for Xavier in the long term.” 

During his tenure at the FBI, Warfel led active shooter trainings for college campuses across the country — something he seeks to institute at Xavier.

“There has been a big push at Xavier to have active shooter training be mandatory for faculty and students,” Coleman said. “It’s good that we have someone with the experience to lead these drills.”

Active shooter training has surged nationwide in recent years in response to shootings, particularly those in educational environments.

GOA’s curriculum has included the FBI endorsed “Run, Hide, Fight” method for active shooters the past two years. Active shooter training was on 2017 Student Government Association Executive ticket ASR’s platform and was discussed at the Executive Debate.       

Warfel will also oversee the recruitment process for an Assistant Chief of Police and will play a key role in defining the role of the nascent position.

While Warfel will help clarify the position, Coleman said he believes  the role of Assistant Chief of Police will focus on operations that emphasize community outreach and direct personnel matters, such as training officers. 

“We really need a strong ‘number two’ that will allow the chief to unplug and spend some time away,” Coleman said. Having time away ultimately leads to less burnout for the Chief of Police.

Coleman anticipates the new Assistant Chief to begin performing duties in late May and will use the summer for additional training, though this is not guaranteed.

Coleman has served as interim Chief of Police during the job search and has been pleased with the police department as they’ve continued operations.

“We’ve got two strong lieutenants and three sergeants who have filled in the gaps,” Coleman said. “We’ve been able to keep the ship afloat and things moving forward. All of the officers at XUPD have really stepped up.”

By: Christo Fosse | Guest Writer