Deputy Chief Eric Schiazza retires from ECPD


Photo: Courtesy of ECPD

ECPD Deputy Chief Eric Schiazza teaching a self-defense class

By Ann E. Matica, Deputy News Editor

Emerson College Police Department Deputy Chief Eric Schiazza retired in November after 32 years rising through the ranks within the college. 

Schiazza first joined ECPD in June of 1988 when Emerson’s campus was located on Beacon Street. The move to Boylston Street in the 1990s forced a new set of safety challenges due to the proximity to Boston Common and downtown Boston.  

“On his last day at Emerson, Eric told me that he always viewed his primary duty as one of educating the community on how to stay safe while navigating both the campus and the city of Boston,” ECPD Chief Robert Smith wrote in an emailed statement to The Beacon. “Eric also served as an excellent role model for all the members of the ECPD by demonstrating an exceptional work ethic, integrity, empathy and strong leadership. Eric is one of the best police officers I have worked with in my forty years in the police profession.”

During the more than three decades he worked for ECPD, Schiazza held nearly every rank, serving as an officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant, and deputy chief. 

ECPD Lieutenant Robert Bousquet said he worked directly under Schiazza during his seven year tenure with the department and recalled Schiazza’s committed leadership.  

He was the type of guy who would tell you what you needed to know and give you the opportunity to do what it was he asked,” Bousquet said. “He wasn’t on top of you every step of the way. He gave you enough room to make a mistake, and if you made a mistake to learn from the mistake and move forward. He was always willing to share his knowledge.”

Bousquet said he and Schiazza taught self-defense classes to students together. 

“Everytime we did a self-defense class we would be joking around,” Bousquet said. “The students always left with a good experience as far as [what they said] in the after actions reviews that they did. They always felt like they took something away from the class. They achieved their goals and we were able to do it with a little bit of humor as well.”

The greatest lesson Bousquet said he learned from his time working with Schiazza was the purpose of being a police officer on a college campus. 

“Emerson College police department is not a police department that’s here to enforce laws. It’s more taking on that role of assisting in education and becoming educators ourselves,” he said. “This is a time when students are going to learn, they’re going to grow, they’re going to develop and gain experiences that are going to be part of the rest of their life, and [Shiazza] not only did that with students, he did that with the people that worked for him as well.”

Schizza was presented with a plaque from ECPD on his last day at Emerson for his years of service to the college. 

“When we presented him with that, I mean I know it had an impact,” Bousquet said. “When I was speaking to him I started cracking, the emotional experience of him leaving and the void that is going to be left was obvious.”