University Police Capt. Bruce Troupe has always felt at home on campus.
He grew up in a southeast Minneapolis neighborhood and attended high school just a few blocks from the University. He said he jumped at the chance to work for the University Police Department in the fall of 1969.
Marking nearly 30 years with the department, Troupe served his last day on the force Thursday.
“This is really kind of my neighborhood,” Troupe said. “It was a good fit.”
Before he started as a police officer, Troupe worked for the Minneapolis Fire Department. Although at times he had inklings to move to other locations, Troupe said the University suited his needs well.
“As it turns out, it was an excellent decision on my part,” Troupe said. “It has been very rewarding.”
Troupe’s decision to leave comes on the heels of several other adjustments in the police department, including the former Sgt. Joe May’s retirement and former Police Chief Joy Rikala’s transfer. Troupe said a change in the pension system has made retirement a more attractive option for many officers.
In his first few years with the department, Troupe worked occasional 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, to keep pace with the Vietnam War protesters on campus.
In 1969, large marches routinely cut off traffic along Washington Avenue. Troupe said he engaged in “healthy dialogue” with other protesters about the war from which he had just returned home.
“I had just spent four years and two months in the Navy,” he said, “and had made three cruises to Vietnam for six months,” for a total of 18 months on the sea.
After the Vietnam years, Troupe held a number of positions within the police department. He also had a hand in placing the department in its new headquarters along Washington Avenue with other public safety departments.