Roman sworn in as chief of UW police

Discusses her vision 'always reaching higher'
Roman sworn in as chief of UW police

The UW-Madison Police Department officially welcomed Kristen Roman as chief on Wednesday in a swearing-in ceremony at Union South.

Now retired UW Police Chief Sue Riesling said Roman is the “right person at the right time for this organization.” She encouraged Roman to care for the organization and her community and to give all the love she has. “If you do that, no matter what, you’re going to succeed,” Riesling said.

After taking the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor, Roman expressed her gratitude to the department for selecting her for this leadership position. She comes to UWPD with 26 years of experience with the Madison Police Department.

In her most recent position as MPD captain of community outreach, Roman led efforts to build relationships with young people of color. She managed efforts to better serve community members suffering from mental illness and investigated police use-of-force policies.

At the ceremony, Roman addressed the vision she proposed when applying for the position as UW police chief: “always reaching higher.”

After working at UW for just over three weeks, Roman said she can “report with confidence that [her] vision wasn’t just some ‘pie in the sky’ deal.”

“Nor was it simply an exercise that I undertook without any intention of following through,” she said.
Roman made a point of thanking Madison Police Chief Mike Koval for his continued support throughout her career. “I know for certain that I would not be here where I am today if not for his tireless support and more so for his belief in me,” Roman said.

She then listed names of high-ranking female officers who influenced her, acknowledging that the number of women holding top leadership positions in the policing profession is small.

“I just want to take a moment… to thank each of these of these women and nameless others who courageously serve and whose careers exemplify, to me, the concept of always reaching higher,” Roman said.