For members of the Moscow Police Department, getting to know students and citizens is a vital step in making the community safe.
MPD Captain Tyson Berrett, newly-appointed captain of the campus division, graduated with a criminal justice degree from the University of Idaho.
Since served as a reserve officer, patrol officer, detective and sergeant. He has worked in the campus division for a year and a half, and has been a captain since January 2015.
As captain of the services division, Berrett said he oversaw the records manager, property manager, parking enforcement specialists, the code enforcement officer and the investigation unit of the department.
Now, as captain of the campus division, Berrett said he serves as the liaison between the city and university, which includes working on student conduct issues, campus conduct and ways to make campus safer.
“My job and my goal is to make my face known to as many people as I can. Let them know that if they need anything from the police department, we do have campus police,” Berrett said. “Making sure that they know where we are and that we are a resource for students.”
James Fry, the previous captain of the campus division, was recently selected as the Chief of Police. He said former chief David Duke was one of the people who decided Berrett would be the right person for the campus position.
“(Berrett) is a highly motivated individual. He has moved through the ranks, which I think shows a lot about his drive,” Fry said. “He is a perfectionist in a lot of ways and wants to make sure things are done right, so I think what the university is going to see if that they”re getting somebody who is very professional, very talented and will hold a high standard.”
Fry said right now the three people at the top of the chain of command started as reserve officers, including himself and Captain Berrett.
“I think the volunteer phase of law enforcement tells a lot about a person,” Fry said. “If you”re willing to do it for free and for the community, it really does give that service characteristic of people.”
One of the tasks on Captain Berrett”s list is to work toward an initiative that started as Fry”s idea to get to know students better.
“I wanted to get out there and meet the students, because I know it can be intimidating at times with my badge and gun and authority,” Fry said.
His solution was to find a random student of the week, go talk to them, introduce themselves, and explain that officers are really just human beings. He ended up designing challenge coins, which are a strong part of the police department dynamic, because they are passed back and forth as tokens of appreciation.
“We used the quote “legacy through leadership, education and relationships,” meaning that not only with staff but also with students because we are trying to leave a legacy through our work at the university,” Fry said. “So I wanted something that we could give out on special occasions that really represented who the MPD was but also that tied it to the university.”
Corporal Casey Green, who works in the Idaho Commons booth, entered the police academy at the same time as Berrett, and has worked with him for many years. Green said he is eager to work with him within the campus division.
“He”s always been an exemplary officer, he has always been very knowledgeable and the kind of person to provide guidance and help you do things correctly that you didn”t know of or think about,” Green said.
Officer Mitch Running is also stationed in the commons booth, and is looking forward to working with Berrett toward the common goal of making campus a safer place.
“It”s a very important contract that we have with the university, and I imagine he will do a very good job,” Running said.