Morgan clocked in for his first day at HSU on February 15. Previously, Morgan served as police chief in Mount Rainier, Maryland and Covington, Virginia after more than 15 years with the police department in the college town of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Last year, Morgan’s department worked closely with protestors to safely hold a Black Lives Matter rally in Mount Rainier along with overseeing food distribution efforts during the pandemic.
When asked about the key to healthy town-and-gown relationships, Morgan stresses that communication is key.
“It’s clear that the community, which students are a big part of, has a strong voice here,” says Morgan. “As a community partner, we’re accountable to meeting everyone’s expectations.”
As the new police chief, Morgan hopes to exceed those expectations. He plans to start by listening.
“It’s so important for law enforcement to listen to the concerns and needs of students, faculty, staff, and neighbors of the University,” says Morgan.
In his first position with a college police department, Morgan is looking forward to working with the student population, known for their social consciousness and activism, and collaborating with police departments across the CSU to ensure best practices for safe and equitable law enforcement.
“It’s an opportunity to have a positive influence on young adults before they go out into the world,” says Morgan. “As a police department, you can really have a positive impact at the University level.”
With three children of his own, Morgan and his wife were attracted to Humboldt by the region’s natural beauty, access to outdoor activities, and reputation for strong community engagement. Since arriving in town a few weeks ago, the Morgan family has enjoyed hiking on scenic trails and exploring the coastline.
“I’m excited to be here, especially during this pivotal moment in law enforcement when students are leading the charge to demand social change,” says Morgan.
As police chief, Morgan looks forward to being inclusive in all the departments’ actions and ensuring that HSU students have a direct line to voice concerns.
“There’s a lot of positive momentum right now,” says Morgan. “I want to keep building off that progress.
Note: This story was originally published on Feb. 15, 2021.