Update on Campus Police

The Mount Holyoke College seal

April 11, 2019

Dear Mount Holyoke community,

Over the past few weeks, members of our community have expressed concerns about the ability of Chief Daniel Hect to develop the level of trust required to engage in community policing.

In light of this, Chief Hect, who leads campus police at Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges, has been placed on administrative leave.

Deputy Campus Police Chief Ray LaBarre has been appointed Acting Chief of Campus Police, a role that he held previously.

We are working closely with Smith College on this issue, and I will continue to keep our campus community informed.

Sincerely,

Sonya

Sonya Stephens
President

Update: June 10, 2019

As of July 1, 2020, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges will operate separate campus police departments. Learn more about these important changes to campus policing.

Update: May 14, 2019

Daniel Hect's employment as Chief of Campus Police for Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges has ended by mutual and amicable agreement.

FAQs

Q: Was Campus Police Chief Daniel Hect fired?
A: No. Daniel Hect was on paid administrative leave from both Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges.

Q: Was Daniel Hect placed on administrative leave because of his social media posts?
A: No, social media is not the reason he was placed on leave.

Q: Do Mount Holyoke or Smith colleges take political beliefs or personal views expressed through social media into account in the hiring process?
A: No. Hiring decisions are based on the ability of a candidate to fulfill the roles and requirements of the job description.

Q: Is social media part of a standard employment background check?
A: No, it has not been Mount Holyoke’s practice to review applicants’ social media.

Q: Who employs campus police at Mount Holyoke and Smith? 
A: All Campus Police officers and staff are employees of Mount Holyoke College. Under Mount Holyoke’s supervision, they provide safety and dispatch services to both campuses.

Q: Does each college have a voice in the hiring process of the Campus Police chief?
A: Yes. Mount Holyoke College’s vice president for finance and administration and treasurer coordinates with Smith’s executive vice president for finance and administration on the hiring of the Campus Police chief.

Q: Will Mount Holyoke College revisit its hiring policies in light of this incident?
A: Mount Holyoke College continually reviews its hiring practices to ensure they are aligned with best practices. We have recently created a Hiring Practices Task Force that is charged with reviewing all hiring policies and procedures.