SUNY Oneonta is a public college in central New York, enrolling about 6,000 students who pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees or certificates in one of 60-plus academic programs. Known as an exemplary residential campus that values inclusion, service and sustainability, SUNY Oneonta is a nurturing community where students grow intellectually, thrive socially, and live purposefully.

The college is located in the City of Oneonta, nestled in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains about a four-hour drive from New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia. With a population just shy of 14,000, Oneonta is one of the top 20 picturesque small towns in America, according to Microsoft News. The natural beauty of the region is breathtaking year-round. Each season offers outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, boating, swimming, and skiing. Employees give SUNY Oneonta high marks for work/life balance, management, and culture.

The University Police Department coordinates campus safety and security. It has a force of eighteen sworn police officers with full arrest powers. As an armed police department, patrol members respond to all emergencies and are dispatched by six professionally trained dispatchers. The officers have passed a basic training program administered by the State University of New York State Police Academy in Albany, NY, or a local, regional Police Academy and undergo continuous training to upgrade their skills. Officers have been trained in emergency medical procedures and first aid. They conduct foot, bike, and vehicular patrols on the campus and residence hall areas 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

SUNY Oneonta is seeking a dynamic leader and visible member of the campus community who understands and celebrates community policing and the educational and service role of policing within an institution of higher education to serve as its next chief of police. Reporting to the president, the chief of police serves as the chief administrative officer and supervisor of the University Police Department, advancing the mission of the department to provide a safe and welcoming environment for students, employees, and community members by extending care and assistance and enforcing laws and regulations in a compassionate manner hallmarked by the values of excellence, respect, and integrity. The chief will be a steady leader in an emergency or escalating situation, a positive influencer among peer leaders, and an innovative policing expert. The chief will engage in the campus and the Oneonta community. Further, the chief oversees the administration and operation of the college’s law enforcement and police functions to ensure a safe environment for the college’s core pursuit and mission of student success with the additional primary responsibilities of prioritizing and advancing community-police relationships and providing oversight of campus emergency response planning and training.

The chief supervises and provides direction for members of the University Police Department, including the assistant chief of police, sworn university police officers, dispatchers, emergency management, and administrative support staff. The position is expected to maintain a cohesive and positive work culture across multiple shifts and workdays; it provides leadership and overall direction for foot, bike, and vehicular patrols, incident investigations, special event safety, traffic control signage, road/parking lots closures, and maintenance of safety equipment and systems such as automobiles, weapons, alarms, emergency phone, security cameras, and other campus safety assets. To support the department, the chief ensures university police employees receive requisite basic and in-service training and maintain credentials and certifications; develops and offers training to campus constituents on various compliance and crime prevention topics, e.g., Clery Act, workplace violence prevention, etc.; and provides opportunities for professional development and growth for department employees, supporting an environment where development is valued. Further, the chief will coordinate periodic programmatic assessments, public speaking engagements on the university police or related topics, the student emergency services program, and training for residential life employees and students. This position innovates and implements preventive techniques to reduce, prevent or control crime and inappropriate high-risk behaviors on campus; in collaboration with other departments, formulates, implements and evaluates policies about issues such as crisis incident protocols, campus, and building accessibility, parking, keying, lighting, and other crime prevention methods.

Additional responsibilities include the chief acting as an effective liaison with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials and agencies to maintain an understanding of mutual aid and related policies; liaising with the SUNY system administration coordinator of university police and other SUNY employees in matters concerning recruitment, training, and deployment of university police department employees; and enforcing compliance with all federal, state and local laws as well as all applicable SUNY and college regulations and guidelines. Administrative duties include budgeting, ensuring compliance with all statistical record keeping and reporting requirements such as the Clery Act, the FBI Uniform Reporting Act, etc., drafting departmental general orders, and overseeing the scheduling of departmental employees to ensure efficient deployment; and managing recruitment, hiring and background checks in accordance with civil service and other regulatory requirements for new or transferring employees. The chief will ensure the department’s accredited status with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services or other designated accrediting bodies.

The chief will partner with the Student Affairs division and other university divisions to build a safe and welcoming environment for all students and employees; serve on college committees such as workplace violence team, safety, and environmental health and safety committee, parking committee, search committees, etc.; lead or assist with campus/community police academy, and serve on-call 24/7 for safety and emergencies.

The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree and ten years of progressively responsible law enforcement experience, including at least five years of supervisory and/or management experience as a law enforcement professional. The new chief must have a strong service orientation and demonstrated ability to work in a diverse, multicultural, and complex community. Further, the chief must maintain police officer certification (with firearms) or, if from outside New York, certification in the current state of employment/residence with the ability to become New York certified and a valid New York State driver’s license by time of and throughout employment. A motor vehicle record free from major violations or a pattern of repeat violations is also required.

In addition, the chief should have superior interpersonal and communication skills (verbal and written); strong leadership and supervisory experience, and effective training skills; and an ability to work closely with all college constituencies including students, employees, other policing agencies and the general public. A demonstrated ability to conduct and supervise criminal investigations; familiarity with police accreditation programs; and a background in emergency management training are all expected attributes. The chief should have a thorough knowledge of federal, state, and local criminal laws and the roles of federal, state, and local jurisdictions and authorities as they relate to public safety; knowledge of and compliance experience with Title IX regulations, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, and other applicable laws; proficiency with relevant software packages and other technology; and demonstrated ability to develop automated processes, streamlined services, and live data tools.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree, experience working on a university campus, knowledge of and sensitivity to university communities and unique functions such as residential populations and student social events, a Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Police Instructor Certification, and experience supervising employees who work under negotiated union contracts.

Review of applications will begin April 26, 2022, and 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 Heather J. Larabee at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

Visit the SUNY Oneonta website at

SUNY Oneonta is committed to fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff and students, as well as ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment and access to services, programs and activities, without regard to an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status or criminal conviction. Employees, students, applicants or other members of the SUNY Oneonta community (including but not limited to vendors, visitors, and guests) may not be subjected to harassment that is prohibited by law, or treated adversely or retaliated against based upon a protected characteristic.