As the semester comes to a close, the University of Wisconsin Police Department has named Kristen Roman as the new police chief.
Roman, an UW alumna and seasoned veteran of the Madison Police Department, will join as the head of UWPD next semester. Having served 26 years in MPD, the former captain plans on bringing her experience in community outreach, mental health issues and services to vulnerable populations to the campus community.
As the first captain who oversaw the Community Outreach Section at MPD, Roman led an initiative to help those with mental illness avoid the criminal justice system and get them the treatment they needed.
With a great focus being placed on fostering healthy police-community relations, Roman will be able to bring a deep understanding of some of the issues facing both the campus and the city at large, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller said in a statement.
“Kristen will be an excellent leader for our exceptional and engaged police department,” Heller said. “Her experiences and skills are a good fit with the missions of UW and its police department.”
Brian Bridges will continue to serve as the interim police chief until Roman takes over in January.
Before Roman, Susan Riseling served as UWPD chief for 25 years before retiring in August.
“We are very excited [Roman] is going to be joining us,” UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone said. “She’s going to be an excellent leader and will continue a tradition of excellence in the UWPD”
Associated Students of Madison is also looking forward to working with Roman in the coming semester. In a statement, they said they hope to work with Roman to provide a safe and secure campus for historically marginalized groups of students.
Roman will being her duties as police chief Jan. 9, 2017.