Nearly one year after Harvard Police Chief Paul E. Johnson announced he would retire, the University yesterday appointed a veteran law enforcement professional specializing in criminal investigations as chief.
Francis D. "Bud" Riley, Lt. Col. and Commander of the Division of Investigations and Intelligence in the Massachusetts State Police, will assume the post on January 2, 1996, according to Vice President and General Counsel Margaret H. Marshall.
"I am honored," Riley said in a telephone interview yesterday. "There were a tremendous number of people [who applied].... I was just happy to get the position."
"We are delighted that Bud Riley is coming to Harvard," Marshall said in a written statement. "He has an outstanding reputation in the law enforcement community and has demonstrated that he has the qualities of leadership, management and judgement necessary to build on the superb job done by Paul Johnson."
Reaction to Riley's appointment within the police department was positive.
"We are delighted with the appointment," Lt. John F. Rooney said. "I haven't had the opportunity to work with him, but I have worked with detectives assigned to his division. We have had an excellent working relationship."
"I think he has a lot of experience and a good track record, and it will be a pleasure to work with him," Rooney added.
Riley's selection was hailed by law enforcement experts yesterday as a gain for the University.
"I think Harvard has made an outstanding selection and [the University] will be well-served by his selection," said Perry Anderson, outgoing Cambridge Police Commissioner. "He is very well-respected and a professional person in the area of law enforcement."
"What will be a great loss to the Commonwealth will be a great gain to Harvard University," said Kathleen M. O'Toole, Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety and a long-time colleague of Riley's in the Massachusetts State Police.
Others who have worked with Riley also said they thought he had many of the qualities necessary for the job.
"I have worked with Bud Riley for a number of years," said United States Attorney Donald Stern. "He is a real professional with great balance and integrity."
"I have always found him to be very honest and very bright and a real problem solver," said Elizabeth D. Scheibel, district attorney for Hampshire and Franklin counties and the president of the Massachusetts District Attorney's Association.
One of the most significant issues facing Riley in his new post is the question of improving how police officers handle racially sensitive issues.