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DPS Chief Robert ‘Bobby’ Maldonado to Retire After 40 Years in Law Enforcement
After 40 years in public safety and law enforcement, Robert “Bobby” Maldonado, the University’s Chief of the Department of Public Safety, will retire on Aug. 1. Since joining the University in 2015, Chief Maldonado has led a team of public safety officers, community service officers and residential community safety officers who protect and serve the campus community and surrounding neighborhoods. He is also responsible for fire and life safety, and security and emergency planning, management and response.
“Bobby has been a trusted voice and a true public servant,” says Amir Rahnamay-Azar, senior vice president of business, finance and administrative services and chief financial officer. “His steady leadership, willingness to confront difficult issues and understanding of the needs of vulnerable communities in the context of public safety have made him an invaluable community asset.”
Last year, Maldonado helped the Department of Public Safety (DPS) secure accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, the gold standard in public safety accreditation. During his tenure at the University, DPS strengthened training programs, community policing strategies and student engagement in public safety practices.
“I am grateful for the tireless efforts put forth by the women and men of DPS throughout my tenure,” says Maldonado. “Together, we have confronted unprecedented challenges to public safety and security and created opportunities for significant and lasting change in how we practice campus and community policing. Our goal has always been—and continues to be—to create a university environment where all students, faculty and staff feel welcome, safe and secure.”
Under Maldonado’s leadership, the department has prioritized hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds. In the last year, 55 percent of the 96 new hires are Black, Indigenous or people of color; currently, 43 percent of the DPS team are people of color.
Maldonado came to Syracuse from Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, where he was director of campus safety. Prior to that, he was captain of the New York State Police’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations, deputy chief of police for operations at the Rochester Police Department and jail bureau superintendent at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
Maldonado earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from the State University of New York at Albany and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Cornell University.
Details regarding a search for Maldonado’s successor are forthcoming.