Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police – University of Massachusetts Boston

Date Posted: November 21, 2023

Employer: University of Massachusetts Boston


The University of Massachusetts Boston is seeking a collaborative, passionately engaged, and community-focused leader for the position of Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police.

As a key member of the Division of Student Affairs’ executive team, the Director/Chief plays a central role in ensuring the safety and well-being of all members of Boston’s only public research university. This position offers the opportunity to help build and strengthen an inclusive and nurturing campus culture.

The UMass Boston Department of Public Safety/Police is committed to a community-focused model of public safety. Critically, the Director/Chief will strengthen relationships between the department and members of the campus and local community, and develop and implement strategies to promote anti-racism and public health. The Director/Chief will also be directly involved in educating the campus about the positive aspects of policing and in upholding the high standards that a community expects from its public safety professionals. Additionally, the Director/Chief will maintain a positive team culture that includes mentorship, wellness, and excellence for the department’s staff of officers, dispatchers, and support personnel — as well as Beacon, the Community Resource Dog.

UMass Boston consists of nearly 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students in six colleges, as well as 2,300 faculty and staff. As the most diverse university in New England and the third most diverse in the nation, UMass Boston includes students from a wide array of backgrounds, who benefit from the university's steadfast dedication to teaching, research, and service. The oceanfront campus is stunning in its natural beauty, and its proximity to the bustling heart of downtown Boston offers wide opportunities to the university’s scholars and researchers. UMass Boston has embarked on a new strategic plan calling for academic and enrollment growth, heightened student success, and a physically transformed campus, consistent with the founders’ commitment “to see that the opportunities we offer … are indeed equal to the best that private schools have to offer.”

The UMass Boston Department of Public Safety/Police currently is made up of over 40 staff members including sworn law enforcement officers, community service and institutional security officers, dispatchers, and non-sworn administrative staff. The Director/Chief manages a departmental budget of approximately $4M and is charged with maintaining positive working relationships with union representatives and managing labor disputes under the provisions of four separate collective bargaining agreements. They also serve on multiple university and external law enforcement safety committees. The Director/Chief reports to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and provides direct and functional supervision to all Public Safety personnel.


A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a closely related field (master's degree preferred) and a minimum of five to seven years of progressively responsible management experience in law enforcement administration are required. Candidates must also be able to meet all requirements for certification and licensing under Massachusetts General Law, M.G.L. c.75, s.32A, within six months of hire.

Completion of advanced police management and leadership training, such as the FBI National Academy, the Southern Police Institute, or the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police is strongly preferred. Previous experience working on a campus with a residential life program is preferred.

Out-of-state candidates will be expected to promptly obtain a permanent exemption from the Municipal Police Training Committee’s (MPTC) entry-level requirements for full-time police officers, including successfully completing the Massachusetts Municipal Police Officer Online Exemption Program and examination. They also will be expected to become POST-certified within six months of hire. In addition, they must be eligible to obtain and maintain a Commonwealth of Massachusetts license to carry a firearm and must satisfy firearms training and qualification standards for police officers that meet or exceed MPTC standards.

The Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police must have a strong understanding of, and commitment to, community policing and social justice, as well as the ability to create inclusive work and campus environments. We invite applicants who engage the diverse life experiences of our student body and all members of our community.

Desired characteristics:

• Clear vision of community policing as the public safety directive for a diverse urban campus;
• Genuine desire to participate actively in the UMass Boston and local community;
• Excellent communication skills, both within the police department and with students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community;
• Experience with restorative justice practices;
• Thorough understanding of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), 2008 Higher Education and Opportunity Act (HEOA), 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972;
• Track record of successful collaboration with community stakeholders, for example mental health services, and the Office for Civil Rights & Title IX;
• Strong interpersonal skills, including conflict management, community outreach, customer service, and public speaking;
• Demonstrated dedication to de-escalation, anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and anti-racism;
• Knowledge of emergency planning and management, current technology and communication systems, and community policing in a complex urban environment;
• Demonstrated knowledge of current issues and best practices in law enforcement, crime prevention, and public safety within a diverse higher education environment;
• Demonstrated holistic understanding of student life and the needs/issues of a campus;
• Hands-on supervisory style, with the ability to hire, train, develop, motivate, and evaluate staff while creating a positive, supportive and engaging work environment that is committed to anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and anti-racism;
• Strong leadership and problem-solving skills and the ability to engage in strategic planning and program/policy development; and
• Strong commitment to collaboration and service to others.

UMass Boston offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience, plus an excellent benefits package that includes life and health insurance and retirement and tuition benefits.
The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is assisting the university in the selection process. Please contact Rebecca Neuburger ([email protected], 202-997-6287) or Antoinette Tull ([email protected], 804-640-0323)

Qualified candidates should apply by December 17, 2023 with a cover letter, resume, and five references in confidence to: [email protected]. PERF will confirm receipt of all applications by email within 2 days of receipt. If you do not receive an emailed confirmation in that timeframe, please contact us.

The University of Massachusetts Boston is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

For more information, please visit: https://www.policeforum.org/assets/UMBPositionAnnouncementFINAL1.pdf

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