NEW PALTZ – The State University of New York at New Paltz is pleased to announce the appointment of a 21-year police veteran and New Paltz alumnus David Dugatkin as the new Chief of University Police, effective June 20. Dugatkin currently serves as Detective Sergeant in charge of the Detective Division in the New Paltz Police Department.
“As Chief of Police for the University Police Department, I hope to instill the mission and values of New Paltz into every aspect of my position,” Dugatkin said. “I plan on working with them to take the department to the ‘next level.’ I want the staff, students and the community as a whole to know that we will be there when you need us and that we are part of the community both on and off campus. It’s our responsibility to be there for the community and lend a helping hand when we can.”
Dugatkin joined the New Paltz Police Department in 1990 and brings a wealth of investigative, supervisory and administrative skills to the University Police Department. He was appointed supervisor of the detective division in 2003 and promoted to Detective Sergeant in 2008. In 1995, he was assigned to a specialized county task force, The Ulster County Family Violence Unit, to combat domestic violence and sexual/child abuse throughout Ulster County.
“We are very pleased that Dave will be joining us at SUNY New Paltz,” said L. David Rooney, Vice President for Student Affairs. “He brings with him a diverse array of experience in public safety, law enforcement, and community relations that will serve our students and campus community very well. His familiarity with the New Paltz campus, our host village and town, and the cooperation that exists between UPD and the NPPD is a wonderful asset.”
Throughout Dugatkin’s tenure in New Paltz, he implemented new programs and conducted extensive training within his department and regionally. He created and launched the department’s First Responder EMS program and served as Program Manager for New York State Accreditation, a four-year project that involved a full overhaul of the department’s policy and procedure manual.
Dugatkin has also worked closely with the University Police as an instructor, providing him in-depth knowledge of a modern campus police unit. For many years, the University Police Department and the New Paltz Police Department have worked cooperatively to coordinate law enforcement efforts between the Town, Village and College.
“Dave will be greatly missed. He put 20 years, with his heart and soul, into his law enforcement career here at New Paltz,” said New Paltz Police Chief Joseph Snyder. “He was a great asset to our department and to our community. I look forward to continuing our great working relationship with SUNY Police. I’m sure SUNY will be very pleased with David Dugatkin as their new Chief of Police.”
A 1985 alumnus of New Paltz, Dugatkin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and journalism. Not only does this experience provide him with knowledge of student life and the challenges and situations students may encounter, but it’s also the foundation upon which he has built his successes.
“In all the positions I have held since graduating from SUNY New Paltz, I’ve always found myself going back to the basic skills utilized by a journalist: asking the who, what, when, where, why and how taught to me by my good friend and former Professor Glenn Doty,” Dugatkin said. “How does a career in journalism lead to a career as a police officer? The answer is quite simple. They all require the same skill set: one needs to be patient, efficient, organized, and inquisitive and, most importantly, a great listener.”
In addition, he has been a member of the New Paltz Rescue Team for the last 29 years and he is a certified New York State Paramedic. For five of those years, he served as the organization’s Captain (Chief Officer), supervising a staff of up to 80 members and overseeing a budget of more than $250,000. He also has been certified in many levels of emergency response management and incident command through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, including as an instructor.
Dugatkin succeeds Chief Ray Bryant, who retired at the end of May.