Mohawk Valley Community College has appointed David J. Amico ’83 as Executive Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management. Amico will join MVCC’s Department of Public Safety starting July 8 subject to ratification of his appointment by the Board of Trustees.
In his new role, Amico will be MVCC’s chief peace officer reporting to the Vice President for Administrative Services, with leadership of the Department of Public Safety and all other public safety and emergency preparedness functions across MVCC’s Utica, Rome, and satellite sites. He joins MVCC after more than 25 years in law enforcement, with significant experience working in institutions of higher education and in police departments that work closely with area colleges and universities.
“Chief Amico brings his own expertise plus a strong network of colleagues and fellow leaders in law enforcement. He is deeply committed to increasing the safety of students, employees, and visitors to our campuses,” says Vice President of Administrative Services Thomas Squires. “He has a track record of including the community in his departments’ work.”
Amico is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at Morrisville State College, as well as director of Cazenovia College’s Phase One Police Academy. He has previously served as an assistant director and instructor at the Academy. His professional law enforcement career spans 12 years as chief of the Cazenovia Police Department and appointments as a police officer in Madison County, Chittenango, Clinton, and the State University of New York. He holds a master’s degree in emergency and disaster management from American Military University and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Utica College. His MVCC degree is an AAS in criminal justice and he is certified as an instructor in incident response, counterterrorism, and other topics. He also holds police officer certifications in narcotics supervisory leadership, police supervision, crisis/hostage negotiation, threat and risk assessment, radiological/nuclear response, SWAT and more.
“I find that leading a public safety department is very rewarding and I certainly like helping people,” says Amico. “At MVCC I am grateful to have the chance and the honor to lead the Department of Public Safety on its way to becoming a department of excellence. We will really give a lot to MVCC through professionalism, respect, and a commitment to training.”
Amico joins MVCC DPS to lead a period of significant transition that accelerated in December 2010, when the Board of Trustees approved MVCC’s Department of Public Safety to move to peace officer status. Since then MVCC has appointed Peace Officers, who have additional police powers and training, to fill all officer vacancies in the department. The College’s long-range plan is to further improve departmental operations and then consider, as a college community, the question of whether peace officers should be armed. As Amico assumes leadership of the department, current Acting Director Mark Jankowski will return to his appointment as a Peace Officer.
“We thank Peace Officer Jankowski for his steady leadership during this critical period, and we are pleased that David Amico is taking the helm to steer the department toward the excellence our students, faculty and staff have the right to expect,” says President Randall J. VanWagoner, Ph.D. “I am confident he will provide the right guidance, direction, and leadership to the department. With his broad network of colleagues in all fields of public safety, David is also the right person to help our college continue and accelerate its recent work on emergency preparedness.”
Amico lives in Nelson with his wife Patty.