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Middlesex County College Police Chief a Finalist for National Award

Robert Smilek, chief of the Middlesex County College Police Department, is one of 10 finalists for Campus Safety Director of the Year. The award is presented by Campus Safety Magazine.

The winner will be announced at the Campus Safety Conference March 29-31.

Chief Smilek was nominated for his role in coordinating the College Police's role for three visits by U.S. presidents, a vice president, and many other VIPs. President Bill Clinton was on campus twice, President George H.W. Bush once, and Vice President Biden once. President Barak Obama was on campus in 2005 when he was a U.S. senator.

"Chief Smilek did an excellent job in coordinating the visits," said Donald R. Drost, executive director of facilities management, who oversees the department. "Handling logistics between multiple agencies is a complex job and he did it well; there were no incidents. What I like best is he always has our students in mind in everything he does. The campus police force is very community-minded."

Captain Christine Rutowski agreed.

"He truly has unique leadership skills and has maintained an exceptional relationship with both the College community and the external community," she said. "This combination has proven to be significant throughout his career."

Chief Smilek has been with the College Police since 1972. He began as an officer, was promoted to captain and became chief in 2004.