A Campus Police Chief Is On Leave After Protests Over His Political Views

Apr 11, 2019

The campus police chief for both Smith and Mount Holyoke colleges has been put on administrative leave following protests about his perceived political views.

Daniel Hect was just hired as chief in February.

In recent weeks students pointed out that Hect's Twitter account (no longer available) included "likes" of pro-Trump and NRA tweets. Hect has now been placed on leave.

Smith College President Kathleen McCartney said in a statement the decision came amid the campus community's lack of trust in Hect.

Mount Holyoke College said on its website that Hect's removal was not directly related to his social media posts, and that political views are not part of the hiring process.

According to the Mount Holyoke student newspaper, Hect apologized for the tweets in a public forum in March, and said he does not support the "hate that comes out of the White House."

A Facebook page run by Smith students — called Students for Social Justice and Institutional Change — says putting Hect on leave is a step, but they want him gone for good.

Deputy Campus Police Chief Ray LaBarre has been named acting chief.