BenU cop honored: Officer Haffey receives award for investigative work

by Taylor Hoppe



This month, Benedictine University Police Officer Wayne Haffey was awarded the Chief’s Citation for his outstanding work solving investigations while working as an officer at BenU.

“It’s always good to be recognized. Being in the shop so many years, there’s plenty of times you’re not recognized, but when you are, you know you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing,” commented Haffey, who served for the Chicago Police Department for 30 years before coming to Benedictine.

“What the community should know is that they should expect and receive the same level of professional service from this police department as they would from their hometown police department,” said Chief of BenU Police Michael Salatino.

“Everybody works together,” added Haffey about the dynamic of the University Police Department. “If somebody takes a report, then I generally will do a follow up on it and figure out where we can go with it.”

Salatino says one of Haffey’s strengths is his ability to solve various crimes around campus.

“He can take a report and, with his investigative methodology, start connecting the dots,” explained Salatino. “We’re practicing intelligence-based policing.”

By connecting the dots, Salatino explains it is also possible to discover where the potential for crime is on campus.  Haffey is also responsible for the surveillance technology part of BenU Police. He also explains that the overt cameras is the ones visible to students in various locations around campus.

“The covert application for cameras, depending on where they’re needed, is generated through the information [Haffey] gathers,” he explained.

Haffey says communication is a key element in how he executes his jobs.

“I believe, personally, it’s all in how you communicate with somebody, whether they’re 19 years old or 59 years old,” Haffey said.  “It’s all in how you relate to that person. Whether it’s the victim or the offender, you have to be able to talk to them and be able to understand where they’re coming from and explain to them it’s not the end of the world, but that [they] made a mistake. If you convey that message in a conscientious, caring manner they respond to it.”

Salatino says that Haffey also offers conflict resolution for victims and offenders, and that this service is something that is not always offered at other police departments.

“There are a lot of things that in a traditional department you probably wouldn’t get,” he explained. “We’re also living in our community so there’s a lot of ownership to in this style of policing than our community would get from traditional hometown police [departments].”

“With these Chief Citations, we’re really trying to make a role model of some officers for others,” added Salatino. “Even though our expectations are high, these guys, without being told, without asking and without complaining [exceed expectation] and that’s what I want everyone to shoot for.”

“Police work became my favorite sport,” added Haffey. “I liked it, I became good at it. I’m just trying to bring that here. That’s what the commendation really means to me. I’m getting recognized for what I know how to do, so let’s do it and let’s do it well.”