October 6, 2022 SPRING 2022

Tania Kinsella ’03, ’24: NYPD Commanding Officer, 120th Precinct

“To be an effective leader in this job you have to have love and empathy for the people who work with you and the community you serve,” says Tania Kinsella ’03, ’24, NYPD Inspector and Commanding Officer of the 120th Precinct in Staten Island.

 

“To be an effective leader in this job you have to have love and empathy for the people who work with you and the community you serve.”
—Tania Kinsella ’03, ’24

 

“The 120 was the first precinct I ever worked in as an officer,” says Kinsella. “There weren’t many other officers that looked like me at the time, but I had a very strong, professional presence. Even as a young cop, I knew that I wanted to become a supervisor and move up through the ranks.”

After years of serving at other precincts, Kinsella had a full-circle moment when the Police Commissioner offered her the commanding officer position at the 120. “That was the most rewarding moment of my career,” she says. “I love the community out here in Staten Island. It doesn’t matter if you live on the North Shore or the South Shore, what happens in Staten Island affects all of Staten Island.”

“We have situations where my officers come across mothers and babies in the system who need clothing. So, they go out and buy them clothes. We hear about families that need groceries or Christmas gifts and we get them what they need because they’re a part of our community,” says Kinsella. “That kindness comes naturally to them and that makes me incredibly proud.”

Kinsella, who is enrolled in John Jay’s NYPD Executive Master’s Degree Program, believes that an officer’s personal life affects their work life. “If they are happy personally, they will perform well at work,” she says. “We are each other’s villages. It doesn’t matter if I am the police commander or not. You have to love what you do, and you have to love the people that work with you.”

Contents

Remembering Our Heroes

Looking back on 9/11 two decades after the tragedy. By Andrea Dawn Clark

Improving Mental Health Behind Bars

Virginia Barber-Rioja’s, Ph.D.,’02, ’09 passion for psychology and law helps system-impacted individuals with mental health challenges. By Shirley Del Valle

President’s Letter

“We’re living through challenging times.” I’ve found myself writing, saying, and contemplating those five words countless times this year.

President
Karol V. Mason

Chief Communication Officer
Kira Poplowski, Ph.D.

Editorial Director
Andrea Dawn Clark

Writer/Editor
Shirley Del Valle

Creative Director
Laura DeVries

Web Developer
Chunhui Meng

Web Producer
Anh Phan