Chief of Police Operations

University Park, Pennsylvania
Apr 03, 2019
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The Pennsylvania State University

Chief of Police Operations

Founded in 1855, Penn State is a major, public, Research-I university serving Pennsylvania and the global community. As Pennsylvania’s only land-grant institution, Penn State takes pride in its mission of teaching, research, and public service—and its focus on the future. Penn State is a member of the prestigious American Association of Universities, one of 62 universities recognized for their especially strong research and academic programs. Penn State is home to approximately 100,000 students engaged in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The chief of police operations provides leadership, strategic planning, and direction for the operational components of University Police and Public Safety for Penn State’s 22 campus locations, promoting a safe, secure, and service-oriented environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors to the University. Reporting to the assistant vice president for university police and public safety, the chief of police operations is responsible for developing goals, strategies, policies, and standards for the implementation of effective procedures for field operations at all campuses. Penn State University Police and Public Safety has recently centralized all functions across Penn State campuses, and this position will serve as part of the department’s senior leadership team, providing leadership, support, and guidance on criminal and administrative investigations, as well as ensuring all investigations of criminal and non-criminal complaints are handled in a fair and consistent manner. The chief of police operations will direct and oversee the scheduling of support for all normal operations and special events across all campuses, including logistic strategies and resource evaluations; provide guidance to all campuses regarding emergency incidents and notification processes; and ensure all campuses have an emergency response contingency plan in place.

The new chief of police operations must have a strong understanding of and commitment to diversity, equity, and social justice, and the ability to create inclusive work and campus environments. The position has a high public profile and the chief acts as a liaison with University executives, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, and private agencies and organizations. The chief is responsible for six direct reports, a total staff of 186, and a budget of approximately $21 million.

The position typically requires a bachelor’s degree or higher plus 12 years of related experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience, as well as progressive leadership experience in law enforcement, including senior/command experience as a sworn officer (or an equivalent combination of education and experience). The position also requires Act 120 Certification or the ability to obtain Commonwealth of Pennsylvania certification; U.S. citizenship; a Pennsylvania driver’s license or the ability to obtain one; and successful completion of a psychological evaluation and physical examination.

Successful candidates will also possess skills necessary to enhance public respect for law enforcement and the University with courteous, devoted, and ethical service; demonstrate knowledge of trends and best practices in law enforcement; experience working with and leading diverse constituencies, as well as practicing inclusivity at all levels; excellent interpersonal and communication skills in establishing and maintaining professional working relationships; the ability to work cooperatively with various levels of faculty, staff, students, and outside agencies; a comprehensive commitment to outstanding customer service; and excellent analytical, judgment, and organization skills. The new chief of police operations should also demonstrate knowledge of organizational development and expertise in planning, staffing, organizing, directing, and evaluating a police department; an understanding of law enforcement technology; knowledge of applicable federal, state, and local laws and ordinances; experience evaluating/developing departmental policies and procedures; experience managing large-scale and high-profile events; and a commitment to the professional development and training of officers and other staff, with a strong commitment to staff retention and morale. Preferred qualifications include an advanced degree, experience with law enforcement in a university setting, and knowledge of higher education law enforcement policies, practices, techniques, and accreditation standards. A motor vehicle records check in addition to a credit history check due to financial and fiduciary responsibilities will be required in addition to standard background checks for the role.

Review of applications will begin Friday, May 3, 2019, and will continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Nominations for this position may be emailed to J. Scott Derrick at [email protected]. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Penn State website at

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.