After a late start to the school year, Leslie Kachurek is starting to settle into his role as Northern Kentucky University’s chief of police.
In his first three weeks at the university, Kachurek has been working various shifts with the department, trying to gain an understanding of the existing operation.
Kachurek has been spending the majority of his time getting to know his staff and the community. He said his primary goal is “letting them know I appreciate and respect any ideas that they have and if we work together we can have some extraordinary outcomes.”
He explained that he is very satisfied with the staff of the police department so far, commenting on their mindsets towards the NKU community.
“That’s the thing that is most impressive to me,” Kachurek said.
As for changes to the police department, Kachurek said that he’s more concerned with building on what is already in place.
“The most important thing, as far as I’m concerned is to build on the commitment that this organization has to community oriented policing and problem solving with that unique student centered flavor, so that with the problem-oriented policing, to integrate that,” Kachurek said. “And then to reduce criminal offenses, reduce nuisance offenses and increase the quality of life for everyone across the campus and surrounding community.”
One thing that Kachurek is looking to specifically looking to continue is community engagement and programming.
“Any division, any entity on campus that would like programming, we invite them to contact us and explain to us what their needs are and what they need us to do,” Kachurek said, adding that they could cover any topic from how to keep yourself safe as a student to lessons on Title IX and how it affects college campuses.
This also plays into Kachurek’s view on campus police and what makes them so unique.
“We view ourselves not solely as law enforcers, but as educators, and that’s really important component of what we do,” Kachurek said. “It’s unique when compared to municipal law enforcement.”
Kachurek said that the department is also increasing foot patrols on campus to break through the “windshield barrier” and trying to get to know everyone as best they can.
“I was very gratified my first week here, the number of people who saw me and actually approached me, including students,” Kachurek said.
Kachurek is no stranger to university policing. Coming from SUNY Alfred State College in New York, he brings over 25 years of experience to the table. Prior to this position, he served in municipal policing.
“[University policing] is more intrinsically satisfying endeavor than municipal law enforcement because it’s so education based, you really feel like you’re making more a positive difference than in municipal policing,” Kachurek said.
Kachurek said that he got into university law enforcement after serving as an adjunct professor for 10 years at Niagara County Community College teaching criminal justice, something he misses most in his career.
“I would like to [return to the classroom] if there’s an adjunct opportunity that arises here, I’d be absolutely honored to do it,” Kachurek said. “Again, that’s the one thing I truly miss, teaching.”
Aside from being a fan of Cincinnati sports teams, which is clearly displayed through the amount of Bengals gear in his office, Kachurek said that there are several reasons he decided to come to NKU.
“t’s exponentially growing… it’s extremely aesthetically pleasing, very well reviewed from the research I did in terms of work and quality of the education,” Kachurek said. “I like the area, I like the climate. The people have always been very nice, very helpful, never had a bad experience here.”
In his role as chief of police, Kachurek will oversee all police department activities, operations and services at NKU, including law enforcement, crime suppression and prevention, investigations, facility security, emergency preparedness, emergency dispatch and administrative support services.