Position Title:

Chief of Police


Virginia Commonwealth University

Position Type:


Introduction Statement:

With a total student population of more than 31,000, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a public research university located in the capital city of Richmond, VA. The VCU Health System is an urban teaching hospital and is home to VCU Medical Center, the #1 ranked medical center in the Richmond metropolitan area with the only Level I trauma center in central Virginia. Together they make VCU the largest employer in the city of Richmond (22,888 including VCU and VCU Health System employees).

Founded in 1838 and currently belonging to the elite group of R1 – Doctoral Universities with Highest Research Activity by Carnegie Classification, VCU enrolls students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 108 countries. Students choose from 59 undergraduate, 69 master’s, 42 doctoral programs, three first-professional programs and 44 certificate programs offered by 11 schools and three colleges. With two main campuses on 173 acres in the historic downtown area, as well as satellite campuses located across the state and internationally, VCU boasts a diverse campus community, including approximately 43 percent of the student body identifying as minority, as well as an 18:1 student-faculty ratio, and more than 500 student clubs and organizations.

One of the largest academic health centers in the nation with a 52-acre footprint one block from Capitol Square, VCU Health System also maintains over 2.5 million square feet of facilities in satellite locations surrounding the city, including research space at the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park. In addition to VCU Medical Center, the $3.2 billion health system includes Community Memorial Hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, the Virginia Premier Health Plan (a 220,000-member non-profit Managed Care Organization), and the MCV Physicians (a faculty practice plan with more than 700 members and 770 residents and fellows).

Ranked in the top 60 Places to Live and Top 50 Places to Retire by U.S. News & World Report, Richmond, VA is among America’s oldest major cities. Patrick Henry, a U.S. Founding Father, famously declared, “Give me liberty or give me death” at its St. John's Church in 1775, leading to the Revolutionary War, and the city was also a major epicenter for the Civil War. For those with modern interests, the city is widely known for world-class museums, a vibrant and burgeoning food and craft beer scene, and a wide array of entertainment options from concerts and theater performances to family-friendly festivals. Located along the banks of the majestic James River, Richmond is the only city in America with whitewater rapids running through its downtown district, and offers its 1.2 million residents the best of everything!

Reporting to the associate vice president for public safety for VCU and VCU Health System, the chief of police works closely with VCU Police department staff, academic campus and medical center constituents, and the local community to direct and administer the overall policing initiatives, as well as promote a safe and secure environment, for the campus and medical center communities of Virginia Commonwealth University.

The chief provides comprehensive leadership, strategic vision, and general oversight for patrol operations, investigations, community policing, crime prevention strategies, community outreach, educational services, crime statistics, federal compliance reporting, and programs. Managing an award-winning, 24-hour/365 day-a-year, internationally accredited and full-service law enforcement agency, the chief leads a staff of 99 sworn police officers and approximately 200 security personnel, all housed in a brand new headquarters and state of the art emergency operations center.

In a recent survey 95.5% of students, faculty, and staff reported feeling “safe” or “very safe,” so expectations are extremely high for the chief to maintain and continue to improve upon these standards. Additionally, the chief manages the $11.1 million annual budget; develops the department’s goals, objectives, policies and procedures; enforces local, state, and federal laws; maintains an awareness of IACLEA best practices, national trends, and innovative technology related to safety/security and legal issues impacting both higher education and health systems; works closely with local, county, and state public safety officials to ensure the safety of the entire community; and tracks crime statistics to ensure compliance with college, state, and federal reporting responsibilities. The chief fosters and maintains collaborative and proactive relationships with students, patients, faculty, and staff, as well as external agencies such as law enforcement and emergency management agencies, in an effort to address community policing programs, safety and security priorities, and educational outreach as they support and correspond with the missions of the university and the health system.


Full Time


Not specified

Minimum Qualifications:

The position requires a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, public administration, public safety, or closely related field, and at least ten years of demonstrated progressive leadership in law enforcement, security operations, or higher education, including increasing level and scope of responsibilities, command supervisory experience, budget management, and operational/programmatic responsibilities for safety. A master’s degree and graduation from a recognized law enforcement senior leadership program such as the FBI National Academy is preferred. The successful candidate will demonstrate a vision for building a cutting-edge law enforcement agency with an emphasis on best practices in higher education and healthcare, a highly visible presence, and demonstrated commitment to community policing and other 21st century policing practices. The successful candidate will also possess excellent communication skills and experience in media relations, and will exhibit a previous record of success at a command level in a residential, university campus, academic medical center, or similar environment. It is highly desired that the successful candidate demonstrate proven success in working with stakeholders with diverse backgrounds, including students, patients, parents, visitors, faculty, and staff in university and academic medical center settings, as well as proven success in the recruitment, development and retention of diverse workforce units. It is also preferred that the successful candidate have experience working in an accredited police department; experience working in a hospital healthcare environment, preferably a Level 1 Trauma Center; and trauma-informed sexual assault investigations experience in conjunction with experience dealing with the intersection of Title IX and the Clery Act. The successful candidate must also be certified by the Virginia State Department for Criminal Justice Services to perform police duties in the Commonwealth of Virginia or be able to obtain Virginia certification within 12 months of accepting this position.

Information for Obtaining an Application:

Review of applications will begin April 18, 2019, and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at www.spelmanjohnson.com/open-positions. Confidential inquiries and nominations for this position may be emailed to J. Scott Derrick jsd@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Virginia Commonwealth University website at https://www.vcu.edu/.

Visit the VCU Health System website at https://www.vcuhealth.org.

For more information regarding the University Police Department: https://police.vcu.edu/

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY: As an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer, VCU promotes the full realization of employment opportunity for all persons, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans. VCU bases all employment decisions only on job requirements. These efforts apply to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, selection, hiring, promotion, and compensation.

Closing Date: