After a nearly year-long search, Humboldt State University has announced the hiring of Anthony Morgan as the new Chief of the University Police Department.
The announcement came in a campus wide email sent on Feb. 15, noting that the day of the email was also Morgan’s first day officially on the job.
“Anthony Morgan is Humboldt State’s newest chief of police and the first African American to hold the position in the University’s history,” stated the email. “Arriving in Humboldt with a long career in law enforcement, Morgan is excited about living in the redwoods and working hand-in-hand with the HSU community.”
With nearly two decades of experience in law enforcement, including in the college town of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Morgan looks to build a sense of community among the department and the community.
“Relationships happen when you are able to communicate,” Morgan said during a Zoom interview. “I want to make sure that I am available and open to talk to students, human to human.”
Morgan said that while quarantine has made student outreach more difficult, he has been sitting in digital meetings and listening to students and campus members and plans to engage with the cultural centers.
“It’s important to recognize that these spaces are made to help others feel safe,” Morgan said. “You know, some students there might not feel comfortable with having me there in uniform and if that’s the case I’d be more than willing to show up in civilian clothes.”
On the topic of campus safety, the new chief shared potential plans to change the way UPD operates on campus. This includes increased visibility on campus via officer patrols and better vehicle placement.
Morgan also acknowledged that there were students who actively protested against the hiring of a new UPD chief, as well Black Lives Matter protests throughout the community, and hopes to help them maintain safe demonstrations.
“We are more than willing to offer advice and help to ensure things can happen in a safe manner,” Morgan said. “It’s also about understanding and knowing that sometimes it won’t matter what the police say.”
Photo courtesy of Humboldt State University