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Gold Bars for Rising Stars

Two BUPD sergeants make the (next) grade: lieutenant

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Lieutenants Anastasios Giannopoulos (left) and Robert Casey were awarded their new rank and accompanying gold bars at the end of June. Photo by Vernon Doucette

Robert Casey and Anastasios Giannopoulos agree on one thing: when Boston University Police Chief Thomas Robbins and Deputy Chief Scott Paré call for a meeting, there is going to be good news or bad news.

Happily for them, the meeting called on June 30 was very good news: both sergeants were awarded the rank of lieutenant.

“In our field, making lieutenant is really big,” says Giannopoulos, “because we’re put in a position where we can influence the younger officers and motivate the officers who’ve been here for a while.”

“I think it also shows to the younger officers that you can achieve your goals,” Casey adds. The two men have a combined 36 years with the BUPD, working through the ranks from patrolman to their current leadership role.

With a bump in rank come greater responsibilities. The lieutenants oversee two patrol sectors, encompassing the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus. They also focus on strengthening the department’s community policing, crime prevention, and statistical crime analysis programs. Casey and Giannopoulos will respond as well to day-to-day emergencies, attend University community meetings, visit residence halls, and become more involved with the Kenmore Association, a group of neighborhood business owners.

“This move gives us the ability to do some command-level supervision,” says Robbins, who posted the jobs on BU’s website and called in MMA Consulting Group, Inc., of Brookline to conduct assessments of 11 candidates, including several from outside the department. No names of the applying sergeants were used during assessments; instead, each was assigned an identifying number.

Candidates were given an “in basket” of 10 items—memos, emails, daily patrol situations—they needed to prioritize and tackle in an essay. Next, each was given 10 minutes to read seven real-life scenarios before being quizzed by a panel of three judges.

Candidates also led an informal employee counseling session with what Robbins calls “a curveball” thrown in the mix: a chat on sick leave with a female employee that turned into a discussion of sexual harassment in the workplace.

On the last day of June, Giannopoulos was called in to meet with Robbins and Paré, who shook his hand; Robbins’ handshake also held the two gold bars now proudly worn on the new lieutenant’s shoulders.

An hour later, as Casey gripped the chief’s hand he too felt the cold metal bars pressed against his palm. He knew he’d made it as well.

“It was kind of a blur,” Casey recalls, “because it was like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe this is happening.’ You work so hard and …”

“… and it pays,” Giannopoulos finishes.

Leslie Friday can be reached at lfriday@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @lesliefriday.

1 Comments

One Comment on Gold Bars for Rising Stars

  • Anonymous on 07.14.2010 at 12:44 am

    Congratulations to both Lt. “Taso” Giannopoulos and Lt. “Bobby” Casey. Both men have been fine examples of the dedication and commitment the officers and the Sgts., Captain, Chief and Deputy Chief of BUPD make with our students and our community. Hopefully this will allow more interaction with students in the residence areas as well as with out neighbors and town gown relationships. Hopefully too this will allow for the promotion of some deserving officers to move up to the open Sgt. slots caused by these recent promotions. It is always nice to see promotions from withing a department, it’s often a better moral booster.

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