“Throughout my career in law enforcement, my focus has been on developing good personal relationships within the community.”
In the 1999 movie The Insider—starring Russell Crowe and Al Pacino—a police officer named Muravchick assists in the investigation of complaints filed by a tobacco industry whistleblower at Brown & Williamson in Louisville. Today, the “actor” who played Muravchick heads up Transylvania’s Department of Public Safety.
A few years ago Muravchick was assigned to an event at the State Capitol, and he struck up a conversation with a German visitor who wanted a picture with a trooper. He offered her his card in case she needed any assistance during her stay in Kentucky. Sometime later, long after she had returned to Germany, Muravchick received a call from her after she had seen his family’s story in an episode of the television program Rescue 911.
How did a lifelong public servant end up playing a role in an Oscar-nominated film? Muravchick was a state trooper with a reputation for being skilled at handling even the most difficult people. His commander asked him to escort the director of the movie, Michael Mann, to the Kentucky Derby.
When Muravchick introduced himself to Mann, the director—intrigued by Muravchick’s name—immediately asked where he was from. In the ensuing conversation, the two men learned they had grown up in the same Chicago neighborhood.
Muravchick and Mann hit it off. A couple of days later Muravchick received a call from the movie’s casting director asking him to try out for the movie. That led to an offer of the part and time spent on the set in both Kentucky and California. As a result of this bit of serendipity, Muravchick and Crowe hung out together and developed a friendly bond.
“Russell Crowe was fabulous,” recalled Muravchick. “We’d stop at Burger King while we were driving from Louisville to Frankfort. He called me one night while I was coaching Little League and wanted me to come to a party in Louisville. But I couldn’t leave the game, of course.”
Muravchick understands that his job is best performed through developing personal relationships with the people he is assigned to serve—whether that’s on Transylvania’s campus or among the stars at the Kentucky Derby.
Since becoming Transylvania’s director of public safety in 2011, Muravchick has implemented an Adopt a Dorm program that helps Transylvania’s officers get to know the students they are protecting. In his view, the community only becomes stronger when the relationships are personal and everyone is pulling for each other.
“It was a challenge at the beginning to develop a personal relationship between the students, faculty, and staff and DPS. In the past, DPS had been very reactive rather than proactive. Then we implemented the Adopt a Dorm program, and we started using that key word ‘service.’
"This is our family. Regardless of what position you hold, we’re all working toward the same goal: providing the best atmosphere and experience for the students.”
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