investigative captain for Public Safety, joined the department in 1985.
Investigative Captain Helps Victims and Solves Crimes
Police and public safety officers investigate
crimes, direct traffic, attend public events to maintain order, patrols
specified areas and ensures the safety of people in their community. But
when it comes to helping victims of a crime, the Public Safety officers take
this aspect of their job up a notch.
“Sometimes, a student just wants to talk about a crime they were a part of,
and its part of our jobs to listen and be concerned about their health and
welfare,” explains Michael Kishimoto, Public Safety's investigative captain.
Kishimoto, who joined the Public Safety staff in 1985, investigates up to 50
campus crimes a week. Solving the crimes is a goal, but Kishimoto’s top
priority is working with victims and offering them support. He explains
victim’s options, and how to proceed.
Recently, he’s helped a victim of sexual assault seek psychological
counseling and move forward with her studies and life.
“Students tend to trust Captain Kishimoto,” says David Meyer, director of
Public Safety. “They feel comfortable talking to him, and when students
talk, it makes it easier for him to investigate crimes and get them solved
Since Kishimoto is the department’s only investigative officer, his workload
and hours vary week to week. Sometimes he’s working days, other times
nights. He frequently takes on weekend and holiday shifts and is almost
always on call.
He works primarily in the office, making follow-up calls and answering
questions from students and parents. If time allows, he enjoys patrolling
campus. Often, he is able to prevent a crime before it happens.
Kishimoto gained his crime-solving skills during a six-year stint with the
U.S. Army after high school. There, he worked as a sergeant with the
military police. Afterwards, he applied for a Public Safety position at
Wesleyan, and spent many years adjusting to the change of environment.
“Imagine going from the military police to a liberal college," he says. “It
was quite a shock at first, but after 22 years I find myself more liberal
than the students.”
Captain Kishimoto enjoys working with the Wesleyan students and strives to
make sure everyone feels safe in their university home, while away from
home. Although campus is spattered with emergency blue light call boxes and
public safety officers are patrolling campus 24-hours, crimes can, and will
happen. Unfortunately, many crimes are committed by fellow students, he
He’s seen the gamut of cases from neighbors stealing laptops, to students
posting racial graffiti. The worst incidents, however, involve physical
“Students can feel very safe on campus, but the problem is that they become
too trusting, and that can become a problem,” he says. “Students should
always walk in pairs at night, lock their doors if they leave, and always be
mentally prepared incase someone comes up to them from behind. You just
never know what can happen.”
Kishimoto, son of a Japanese-Hawaiian father and an Irish mother, grew up in
East Hartford, Conn. with his four brothers. He currently lives on a 26-acre
farm in Andover, Conn. with his wife, Christina; 6-year-old daughter, Maria;
and a giant pond stocked with large-mouth bass.
“If I could be a full time fish farmer or fisherman, I’d do that, but since
I have to work, Public Safety isn’t a bad place to be,” he says, smiling.
“It’s good to work around the students. They keep me young.”
Olivia Bartlett, The Wesleyan Connection