Captain Robert Hahn
It’s a rare person who finds his or her ideal job immediately upon graduating from college. Captain Robert J. Hahn can claim that unique experience. He began his law enforcement career 27 years ago with the Rutgers-Newark Department of Public Safety after graduating magna cum laude from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and has known no other employer since. Not only is Hahn the longest serving law enforcement officer in the Department of Public Safety, he’s also the only supervising officer who has ever worked under every chief of police assigned to the Newark division.
Much can happen to a person who spends nearly three decades working at the same place, particularly at an institution of higher education. The fortunate ones like Hahn will meet their future spouses, receive graduate degrees, and watch their children earn bachelors’ degrees. Hahn and his wife of 26 years met during his first year on the force when she was a Rutgers-Newark graduate student. Hahn earned his master of public administration degree in 1994 from what is now the School of Public Affairs and Administration, and his son will receive his bachelor’s degree from the College of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers-Newark in May 2013.
One can witness a lot in nearly 30 years. “I’ve seen the campus expand in terms of facilities, enrollment, curricula, and diversity,” remarks Hahn. “It has been a pleasure to watch the university grounds blossom from mostly concrete walkways and surfaces to aesthetically pleasing open spaces with trees, flowers and other plantings.”
A graduate of the Essex County Police Academy and the West Point Police Command and Leadership Program, Hahn has massive experience in every realm of law enforcement. He is always on call and continually endeavors to make RutgersNewark a safe environment for everyone. When he’s not working, Hahn enjoys spending time with his family. In fact, his job leaves little room for anything else.
Recognizing that the Rutgers-Newark campus is best patrolled on foot or bicycle, Hahn helped to implement R-N’s bicycle patrol. Over the past 20 years, the fleet has grown from two bicycles to about eight and now includes two Segways (i.e., personal transporters).
Hahn also found the need to offer internship opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students who desire to launch a career in law enforcement. The program is approximately 20 years old and has provided experiential learning to 30 or more students over the years.
With the prospect of retirement looming, is there a professional life after Rutgers-Newark for Hahn? Perhaps. Bitten by the teaching bug from his guest lecturer stints at Rutgers-Newark and various high schools as well as serving as an instructor at the Union County Police Academy, “Teaching at a college or university is a possibility,” Hahn suggests.