Safety and Security director Harry Kinne retires after 14 years

by Amanda Zhou | 4/14/17 2:15am

Next month, director of Safety and Security Harry Kinne will retire after 14 years at the College and a 37-year dedication to college public safety. During his time, Safety and Security became an accredited department in the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, a certification that only about one percent of college departments hold, Kinne said.

“It was lot of work but brought our department to another level of professionalism of which we have maintained,” Kinne said.

Associate director of safety and security Keysi Montás said that the accreditation means Safety and Security must exceed or meet a minimum of 235 standards that range from emergency response to backup plans to how phone calls are conducted. There are about 47 schools that are accredited.

From calling Kinne in the middle of night to discuss something serious to getting lost on road trips to conferences, Montás described Kinne as “such a pillar within the community” and a very diplomatic person.

“He gives the people a sense of comfort, that things will be okay,” he said.

In recent years, the College has added an outdoor mass notification system alongside a campus-wide messaging service titled DartAlert, allowing Safety and Security to electronically communicate with campus.

Kinne’s career in college public safety began in 1979 when he became the director of safety at State University of New York at Cobleskill. Two years later, he took a position at Wesleyan University where he worked mostly as the director of public safety and interim dean of student services.

Kinne said that when he was asked to take on more responsibility for Wesleyan such as facilities and environmental health and safety, he realized after a few years that he missed the “direct contact with safety and security.” Thus, when he heard about an opening in safety and security at the College, he applied and received the job in 2003.

“[I] applied because I’d always admired Dartmouth,” he said. “I knew several people up here, and I had visited Dartmouth a number of times and found it to be very desirable, a place I would want to work.”

From 2009 to 2010, Kinne became the acting associate dean of College, overseeing the Reserve Officer Training Corps and social events management committee and serving as a liaison to the president’s office.

“I’ve always considered myself to be an institutional soldier; when I work for an organization if I am asked to help out, I will be glad to do that,” Kinne said. “But my ultimate goal was to return to Safety and Security, and I have been very happy there.”

Montás, who has worked under Kinne for 10 years, called him the “best boss that I have ever had, anywhere.” In terms of Kinne’s professional style, Montás said that Kinne has had “complete confidence” in him.

Above all, Kinne said he has loved working in such an academically stimulating environment.

“With all the centers that are here at the College, all the issues of the world are present here and discussed, and it makes it a very interesting place to work,” he said.

Whether it is Homecoming weekend or a political debate for the upcoming national election, Kinne said he looks forward to seasonal and daily activities.

“There are never two days that are the same,” he said.

While Kinne hopes retirement will improve his squash skills, there will also be students, faculty and staff across campus he will miss.

“If I’ve had success here at Dartmouth, it’s due in great part to people who supported our department and me,” he said.

As for the next director, Montás said the College is looking to conduct a national search. Montás will serve as interim director in the meantime.

“As with any organization, new people bring new trends new ideas fresh perspectives,” Montás said. “What we hope is that we will continue to have a great relationship with the community and continue to provide excellent safety and security services for the Dartmouth community.”

College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an email statement that the welfare of the Dartmouth community was always uppermost in Kinne’s mind.

“He has worked tirelessly to support the health and safety of everyone at Dartmouth,” the statement read.

Noah Goldstein ’18 and Caroline Berens ’18 contributed reporting.