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LOWELL - Brian Pray, the Chief of Police and director of Public Safety at Salem State College since 1986, has been named chief of the UMass Lowell Police Department. The Topsfield resident assumed his new duties this week.
In addition to Pray's extensive campus-based police experience, he has served as a senior police advisor and regional commander to the United States Department of State in Iraq.
At Lowell, Pray will oversee about 35 police officers and other personnel, who serve the University's students, faculty and staff. One of his objectives, Pray said, is to "sustain and develop the staff professionally and give them what they need to achieve their goals." He added, "We want to be part of the community, not an outside agency."
Of his time at Salem State, Pray said, "We developed a terrific team at Salem and had done everything we set out to do. We'd met all our goals. It was time for me to look for another opportunity - and this came along."
Pray earned a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Boston College and a master's in administration of justice from the University of Massachusetts. He also holds a certificate of academic achievement in management and administration in a University of Virginia post-graduate level program conducted in affiliation with the FBI.
Pray is a native of Westwood, and has worked at Boston College and Dean College in Franklin, where he was the police chief. He took a one-year leave of absence from Salem State in the fall of 2003 to accept a State Department assignment in Iraq, where he was one member of a group that advised Iraqi police agencies in Basrah and Baghdad.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell, a comprehensive university with special expertise in applied science and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental, and social health of the region. UML offers its 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students more than 80 degree programs in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, and the School of Health and Environment and the Graduate School of Education. Visit the website at www.uml.edu.
* Editor's Note: Photo available upon request