Former University Police Chief Kenneth Krouse, who served the University of Maryland community for 20 years before retiring in 2009, died of natural causes in his home on June 21. He was 74.
Krouse was the longest-serving chief of police for this university’s department. His impact is seen through programs he helped implement during his two-decade tenure, including the Security Operations Network, a program that monitors the network of cameras that operate 24/7 around the campus and within the city of College Park.
The program, which started with a network of 25 cameras and expanded to include more than 400, was dedicated to Krouse in 2011 after his retirement, according to a news release.
“His vision of partnering technology and law enforcement were key components in the establishment of the Security Operations Center in 1996,” said David Mitchell, the current chief of police and Krouse’s successor. “His legacy of honor, integrity, and loyalty to the men and women of the University of Maryland Police Department will not be forgotten.”
Before serving the campus community, Krouse grew up and attended high school in Baltimore County. Mark Sparks, the former chief of staff of this university’s public safety department, described Krouse as a strong leader and trailblazer for many other higher education police departments.
“We were one of the first institutions in the country to implement something like [the Security Operations Center] in the scope that we implemented it,” Sparks said. “Institutions from all over the country came to see what we were doing with this, so it was sort of groundbreaking that other institutions saw the importance of this.”
Krouse served the state of Maryland as a major for the Baltimore County Police Department before becoming chief of University Police. In 2002, he became the president of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, which oversees and unites chiefs from all of the state’s police departments.
“He tried to make the department better in the 20 years that he was here,” said University Police Major Carolyn Consoli, adding that the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies accredited the department during Krouse’s tenure.
When he wasn’t wearing his police uniform, Krouse was a very personable leader who enjoyed country music and traveling to Nashville every year, she added.
For Sparks, the late chief’s legacy lives on through the people who worked and trained under his leadership. Out of 85 officers who worked with Krouse, Sparks estimated at least nine have gone on to become chiefs of police elsewhere.
“It’s an extraordinary legacy for him that he trained these folks, and they went out to be successful in the law enforcement community,” Sparks said. “His legacy kind of continues in that regard.”
Krouse’s viewing was Monday at the Burrier Queen Funeral Home in Winfield, and the funeral will take place Tuesday afternoon in the same funeral home, according to a news release.