Pitt Police Chief Boyd resigns

Vice chancellor Devitto to act as replacement, refuses comment

Anthony Breznican

Editor-in-Chief

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Pitt Police Chief Rick Boyd resigned Friday, citing a desire to get out of management and to "get back in the field investigating crimes."

After only four years with the Pitt Public Safety Department, Boyd said he thought it was time to move toward a new stage in his career.

"As an individual cop, I was a good cop," he said. "The problem with managerial work is the further up you go, the further you are from one-on-one interaction with people. I'd like to get back in the field investigating crimes."

Boyd would not say whether the campus police department's two-year long contract battle with Pitt, or disagreements with his superior, Vice-Chancellor John Devitto, prompted his resignation.

"I'm not going to say anything negative about the University or anyone within it," he said.

"My decision to resign is a personal one based on what I think is best for my future."

Devitto refused to comment on his history with Boyd or to answer any questions about the future of the department. He directed all calls to Pitt spokesman Ken Service.

"I don't know anything about personal problems between [Boyd and Devitto]," Service said. He also said he didn't know whether the lengthy police contract negotiations had anything to do with Boyd's resignation.

Albert Fink, president of the University of Pittsburgh Police Association, the union negotiating with Pitt, could not be reached for comment.

Service said Devitto would take over the responsibilities of campus police chief until a full-time replacement is found. According to Service, Devitto held a similar position at the University of North Carolina before coming to Pitt five years ago.

During Boyd's tenure, Pitt Police statistics show that the number of annual arrests have more than doubled.

"These are not just arrests for arrests' sake," Boyd said. "While arrests are up, the incidents of significant criminal activity [in Oakland] has decreased."

This year alone, the force also gained several new officers, a bike patrol unit and a motorcycle unit.

"In all sincerity, there isn't a single thing that I achieved on my own," Boyd said. "The officers have all responded to the call to be more proactive."

Before joining the Pitt Police in September of 1994, Boyd was the director of the Michigan Sheriff's Association, and had previously been the director of public safety at Michigan State University.

Boyd is currently hoping to join a multinational task force investigating human rights violations in Bosnia.

"It's work I would enjoy," he said. "As terrible as the subject is, I could do some good there. I'd also like to see a bit of the world."

If he gets the assignment, Boyd would spend one year in Bosnia. He said he has no immediate plans after that.

Of all his accomplishments at Pitt, Boyd said he is most proud of the training new officers received.

"I would hope that the younger officers in particular would have gotten off to the best start possible, and view it that way," he said.