Police chiefs reunite to recognize former top cop

SUNY Oswego honored former University Police Chief Tom Ryan recently by dedicating the police communications center to him and his wife, Lynda Ryan. The Ryans, both Oswego alumni, are generous supporters of The Fund for Oswego.

The last four SUNY Oswego police chiefsTom Ryan’s legacy carries on in the officers who succeeded him since he retired in 2002. The next three chiefs—Larry Jerrett, Cynthia Adam and current Chief John Rossi—are all people promoted by Ryan at some point.

“That’s such a good feeling, to know that other people had the same faith that I had in people who I knew would be good leaders,” Ryan said during a brief ceremony for about two dozen people.

Besides his three successors, college President Deborah F. Stanley and SUNY’s police commissioner attended. R. Bruce McBride, who oversees police and security on all 64 SUNY campuses, received his bachelor’s degree from Oswego in 1970 and master’s in 1973.

McBride said dedicating the communications center is a fitting way to honor a man who set a great example for all SUNY police departments. He called Oswego “one of the pace-setters for the State University of New York police.”

President Stanley said Ryan moved the department toward improved relations between students and police, seeking a more collaborative approach to public safety. “Tom was a consummate law enforcement professional,” Stanley said. “He always placed the safety of our students first.”

Ryan served 13 years as chief and earned respect from his former officers, as well as from students, faculty and staff, as chief Rossi attested. “As a young officer, I had two different chances to leave this agency and go on to larger agencies,” Rossi said. “I just valued the way Tom ran our department, the way we fit into the campus as a whole, his dedication to the safety of the students. I appreciate Tom’s leadership over all these years, because I try to lead the same way that he does.”

The college’s police station, located just north of Glimmerglass Lagoon on campus, was redesigned for University Police while Ryan was chief.

Tom Ryan earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SUNY Oswego in 1974 and 1999, respectively. Lynda Ryan received her bachelor’s degree from Oswego in 1986. Former chiefs Jerrett and Adam also hold Oswego degrees.

PHOTO CAPTION: 25 years of leadership—SUNY Oswego’s four University Police chiefs stand in order of when they served (from left): Tom Ryan, 1989 to 2002; Larry Jerrett, 2002 to 2006; Cynthia Adam, 2006 to 2012; and current Chief John Rossi.

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(Posted: Aug 11, 2014)

Tags: university police, tom ryan, suny oswego, r. bruce mcbride; suny police commissioner, police chief, police, larry jerrett, john rossi, deborah f. stanley, cynthia adam