A Message from Assistant Chief Patten
As I close my career in policing (I prefer to call it policing
rather than law enforcement because policing entails so much more), Chief Higgins has asked me to share some thoughts with you. Policing has been my life's work, and I am fortunate to have enjoyed some longevity, serving 43 years.
No life journey is taken alone and I have been fortunate to have worked with, and for, many outstanding individuals who have influenced the way in which I see and perform my job. I learned from almost everyone I worked with, to be honest, sometimes I learned what to do and sometimes I learned what not to do but I picked up something from everyone. As the late NHPD Chief Biagio DiLieto liked to say, "No one is useless. He can always be used as a bad example."

The first and most important influence in my life was my father. He was a former Marine Corps drill instructor. He had a no-nonsense attitude and sharply honed ideas of right and wrong. He was honest and spoke his mind. He was a New Haven police officer in the 50s and 60s, some very turbulent times in the country and the city. He was a cop's cop and highly decorated. He received every award there was. Unfortunately, his career ended prematurely because of injuries. He taught me about integrity, honesty, commitment and loyalty. 

Over the years, I worked with great supervisors like Captain Clellon Templeton, Lieutenant "Red" Farrell, Captain William Farrell, Sergeants Vic and Stanley Park, Mike Tullo, Pete Gill, Captain Bob Privee (who looked just like the chrome Mack bulldog on the ashtray in his office), Sergeant Art Kane ("If you're not sure, then make sure."), Sergeant Hayes Gibson, who taught me that sometimes it's better to get your butt chewed off than get written up, Sergeant Bob Arnold who was taken from us too soon, Lieutenant Bill Mahon, Inspector Mike Amico, Superintendent Phil Benjamin and Deputy Chief Dick Haumann, Chief Jim Lewis and I worked with great detectives like Danny Onofrio, Andy Koloski and Ralph Cacace, Donny Olsen and so many others. 

All of these guys did it the old way. There were no computers. Everything was done the old way: talk to people, build relationships, get information. That's the way it was done. The technology wasn't there but these men were old school and made sure things were done right. 

I guess my point is, when you think you know it all, you don't. This job is a learning experience from day one to the end and the people you meet along the way all contribute to making you who you are.  


Michael Patten, CSSP
Assistant Chief of Police Operations
Yale University Police Department