Posted on: April 4, 2021 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By Mariah Trujillo, JRN 111 Student

Like many students out of high school, Patrick Treacy didn’t know what he wanted to do with his future. Treacy felt he had three options: work, the military or further education. He had no idea he would one day be named the police chief of Moraine Valley Community College, a place where he would one day help students find their own path.

New police chief Patrick Treacy enjoys working with students.

Treacy took over as police chief on March 1, replacing Chief Pat O’Connor, who retired last April.

“Chief Treacy comes to Moraine Valley with higher education, suburban and small town experience. His extensive command experience along with community policing philosophy blends well with the college’s police department focus.” Rick Hendricks, Moraine’s vice president of Administrative Services, said in a story on the college website.

Treacy’s path may have led him into municipal police work, but his heart is in the educational environment. He loves the diversity of the students and even the students’ academic goals.

He said there is something about “being surrounded by kids who are taking their first steps out into the adult world.” This energy is something he felt he lacked in previous police positions, and he enjoys having strong connections with students and the smaller community Moraine Valley provides.

His early uncertainty about his future pushed Treacy to enroll in community college after high school. He began pursuing a career in business at College of DuPage. It wasn’t until he heard a professor go on a rant about criminal cases that he realized he had a passion for criminal justice.

“I tried taking some other courses trying to figure it out, but I kept ending up at criminal justice,” he said.

After Treacy earned his associate’s at CoD, he transferred to Aurora University to work towards a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. However, when he was in his junior year, he decided to postpone this goal to begin police work in the City of Warrenville.

Treacy worked there for five years before he chose to continue pursuing his degree at Aurora. He often found it difficult to maintain a balance between life and school and doesn’t recommend other students to take breaks as he did.

“To start it and finish it might be just a little bit easier,” he said with a slight smile.

I was thrilled when I saw the opening here.”

New Police Chief Patrick Treacy

After Treacy earned his bachelor’s degree, he was invited to an in-depth ten-week training program at Northern Illinois University. This program encouraged him to pursue his master’s degree in public service at DePaul University.

Once he felt fulfilled with his education, Treacy resumed working in the police field. He started at the City of Warrenville in 1986 and stayed there until 2013, achieving the title of Patrol Division Commander. Then, from 2013 to 2016, he became Sergeant/Watch Commander for Aurora University’s Campus Safety department.

In 2016 Treacy began working for the Cortland Police Department but soon realized that he preferred the educational environment over the municipal police job.

“That was more traditional police work again and so it’s like, well, I’ve done that. So I decided to try and find something back in the education setting,” Treacy said. “I was thrilled when I saw the opening here.”

His greatest goal for every day on Moraine’s campus as police chief is to take care of his officers because he knows that they will in turn take care of the campus.

“If I can come in and give them a work environment that supports them, it makes it that much easier for them to go out,” Treacy said.

Treacy says he has been impressed with the officers in his first few weeks in the office. He said oftentimes he will only see his officers at the beginning of their shift and at the very end because every minute in between, they spend their time patrolling campus to ensure the safety of everyone present.

The students of Moraine Valley will always be Treacy’s main priority, and he hopes that students will feel welcome and safe on the campus his officers are patrolling.

“If students have any interest in law enforcement, we can use student workers,” Treacy added. “And if you question law enforcement, you know what, come and join us. What you see on the news outlets is only one side of the story. I’m not saying they’re biased but I am saying they’re not there all the time.”