GPI - John Santoro, Outgoing Chief of University Police
By Naidelly Coelho
Asst. News Editor
How long have you worked at FSU?
For almost 12 years. So I've been here since October of 2011. And since I've been here - for the first almost 10 years, I was the deputy chief of police. When they hired me, one of the plans was whoever they brought in as a deputy chief, prepare them to take over someday as chief, again not being an automatic situation. … [Two years ago], they made me the interim police chief. … while they did a search for a new police chief. And during the search process, we talked about the budget issues, including for the Comfort Care Canine, and I eventually got the position and took over as police chief.
What is your educational and career background?
So my highest degree is a master's in criminal justice administration from Western New England University, and I have a bachelor’s degree and three associate’s degrees as well. I worked for the Northeastern University Police Department for three years. I worked for the city of Methuen Police Department for 20 years. I've been here for almost 12 years.
What are you going to miss the most about the FSU community?
The bond and relationships that I built with all members of the FSU community.
What advice do you have for students?
Is to be a great representation of the University and a great representation of your family, and most importantly, a great representation of who you are as a person. Do your best, and really do the right thing, and do the smart thing when it comes to everything in life.
What initiatives or projects do you hope to see your successor continue?
I want them to continue to build a great relationship with this community that we serve. And that's the various means - from initiatives of things like the Comfort Care Canine, with the cop liaison programs, with student groups on campus, and just being great representatives - the police department with great relationships with the whole community.
What kind of message do you want to leave the FSU community?
We here at the police department want to provide a safe environment for people to learn, live and work. I really enjoyed my time here at Framingham State to be able to help others - particularly up-and-coming members of the community, those who are learning and open minded such as you and your fellow students. You folks are going to be our future leaders, our future corporate runners. You'll be our future. Whatever it is - journalists or doctors or scientists or teachers - this is a teachers’ school. Right, so you're our future. So, it's a great way to help the educational process. I think University policing is part of your educational process, right?
Any final thoughts?
I want to thank everyone here for all their responses - both good and bad over the years. Without getting feedback from the community, we don't know what we're doing, right and wrong. And again, we don't necessarily just want to hear the good stuff. We want to hear the bad stuff too.