Ralph J. Gould Named New Police Chief

Ralph J. Gould will become the chief of police for Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Hampshire on June 24.

Vice President for Finance and Administration Ben Hammond has announced the appointment of Ralph J. (“Buddy”) Gould, Jr., as the next chief of police for Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Hampshire colleges. Gould has served as the director of public safety at Holyoke Community College (HCC) since 2006; he will assume the Three College position on June 24.

The new chief of police will bring nearly 30 years of law enforcementexperience to the job, from his initial police work as a community service officer in the town of Amherst (1983-1985) to his time at HCC. He has been a part-time police officer in Belchertown (1987-1991), a campus police officer at Amherst College (1988-1991), and an officer and sergeant for the Hadley Police Department (1985-2006).

For nearly 20 years, Gould has also taught police officers on both the state and municipal levels in training and professional development programs.

"I am delighted that Buddy will be our next chief of campus police,” said Hammond. “His leadership of public safety and police on the campus of HCC exemplifies his commitment to community policing, support of the mission of the institution, and dedication to the safety and security of faculty, staff, and students.  

“He also brings significant expertise in disaster and emergency planning and management, as well as in the training and development of police officers.  As a lifelong resident of the Pioneer Valley, he has worked closely with the public safety and police agencies of Amherst, Hadley, Northampton, and South Hadley, as well as the State Police."

"I am honored to accept the position of chief of police for the Three Colleges. The opportunity to serve these campuses that are so rich in history, culture, and diversity is the pinnacle of my professional career,” said Gould. “From everyone I’ve met and spoken with, I can see the Campus Police are held in high regard, and I will strive to continue and, where possible, enhance that image and level of service. Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, and Smith deserve a department committed to respect and public service to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors." 

Gould, who grew up in Amherst, earned an associate’s degree from Greenfield Community College in 1998, a bachelor’s degree from Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, in 2005, and a master of science degree from New Charter University in San Francisco in 2012—all in criminal justice.

He is certified in a wide variety of police operations and training, including the management of critical incidents for higher education by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). Since 2009, he has also been an instructor in the IACLEA’s multidisciplinary training program on the management of critical incidents at colleges and universities; the program emphasizes coordinated collaboration in both crisis preparation and crisis response between colleges and the local community police and fire departments and other area emergency agencies. The program is certified by FEMA, and Gould is one of just eight people certified to teach an executive overview of the course to the senior staff of any college or university.

Gould, who will report to Hammond under the Three College departmental agreement, is currently cochair of the emergency planning committee at Holyoke Community College and a member of its behavioral threat assessment team. He is also a member of the IACLEA, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Massachusetts Association of College Law Enforcement Administrators, and the Western Massachusetts Chiefs of Police.

The new chief replaces Robert Smith. Longtime department member Raymond LaBarre has served as interim chief of police since Smith’s departure last year.

“I want to thank Ray LaBarre for his dedication and excellent service during this transition,” said Hammond. “I also extend my gratitude to the faculty, staff, and students who served on the search committee during this process.”