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Ronnell A. Higgins

Ronnell A. Higgins

Senior Associate

Ronnell Higgins is the Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety at Yale University. He has served in progressive leadership roles with the Ivy League institution for more than 20 years and has been the Chief of Police since 2011. His professional work at Yale is complemented by his role with the University of New Haven, where he serves as a Practitioner in Residence, a consultant/advisor in the University’s Center for Advanced Policing, and a professor (subjects in criminal justice and policing).

As Yale University’s Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety, Ronnell been highly instrumental in significantly reducing crime on campus, attaining a year-over-year decline in crime every year since 2011 (with 1 exception) and reducing UCR crimes to their lowest levels since Yale began reporting in 1985. He has spearheaded numerous programs supporting excellence in on-campus safety, community policing, and deep collaborations with stakeholders, leaders, and members of both the University and City of New Haven communities while, at the same time, ensuring leading-edge focus on efforts to thwart terrorism, both bad actor/domestic concerns as well as international activities.

In a career spanning more than two decades, Ronnell has developed a reputation for thought leadership in on-campus policing and is recognized as a talented facilitator of greater integration (merging both the urban and the academic). He has advanced the training and professional development of security officers and safety managers as well as fully integrated and maximized use of public safety systems, leveraging technology throughout campus.

Ronnell’s expertise has been sought in numerous, high-profile scenarios—including consulting in the assessment of the St. Louis County PD in 2014, following the civil unrest in Ferguson, MO,. Active within the community and industry, he was appointed to serve on the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System by Connecticut State Senator Martin Looney and serves as a senior member of the Police Officers Standards and Training Council (POSTC) by Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. He is an Executive Fellow with the Police Foundation and serves as an advisory board member of the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences. A past president of the South Central Connecticut Chiefs of Police, Ronnell serves on the executive board for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives for Connecticut (NOBLE). He was recently named among the “Most Influential in Security” by Security magazine in annual recognition of those who are deemed to have made a significant difference in the security field. Former recipients have included Senator Joseph Lieberman, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, and INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald Noble.

Over the past few years, Ronnell has augmented his significant professional expertise through his work with the Department of Homeland Security’s graduate education program—completing a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies through an intensive program that included 2-week California residency once each quarter over the course of four years at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. A graduate of the FBI’s National Academy, Ronnell holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement Administration from the University of New Haven and a certificate in Law Enforcement Education from the University of Virginia. Additionally, he successfully completed the Crisis Leadership in Higher Education seminar at Harvard's Kennedy Graduate School of Education.  

Experience & Qualifications

  • Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety, Yale University
  • Assistant Chief of Police, Yale University
  • Practitioner in Residence/Professor, University of New Haven
  • Executive Fellow, National Police Foundation, Washington, DC
  • Consultant, WSM Trainers & Consultants
  • Lieutenant/Patrol Commander, Yale University
  • Correction Officer, State of Connecticut Department of Correction
  • Master of Arts, Security Studies (Homeland Security & Defense), Naval Postgraduate School
  • Bachelor of Science, Law Enforcement Administration, University of New Haven
  • Graduate, FBI National Academy, 226th Session, Quantico

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