University of Wisconsin-La Crosse — Chief of Police

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL) is an elite public university offering a challenging, dynamic, and diverse learning environment to its student body of over 10,500 that hails from 31 states and 27 countries around the globe. UWL is the state’s top-ranked higher education institution by U.S. News & World Report for Best Regional Universities in the Midwest and has been ranked among the top four Midwestern public institutions for nearly two decades. The University is also listed annually among Kiplinger’s Top 100 Best Values. It is one of only 23 colleges nationwide recognized by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Rankings (2016) for stellar undergraduate research and creative projects. Located in western Wisconsin on the east bank of the Mississippi River, the 128-acre campus of UWL is nestled in a residential neighborhood of the city of La Crosse, with its metropolitan population of 133,665. The University’s cultural events, regional and national conferences, speaker series, and state-of-the-art health research and education facilities add to an abundant array of widely acclaimed local festivals, cutting-edge health care resources, vibrant downtown, low crime rate, verdant parks, strong educational systems, and four-season recreational opportunities, making La Crosse an inviting and diverse community to call home. 

The Chief of Police provides leadership for the overall administration and management of the University Police Department and Parking and Transportation Services at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. The University Police Department has 14 sworn police officers and ensures the safety and security of the university campus by providing services for patrol, investigations, emergency response, crime prevention, community policing, and educational programs and services. The Chief of Police has responsibility for an operating budget of $1.85 million and leadership of an organization of 22, including a police department staff of 18 (14 officers and 4 members of the dispatch team), and campus parking operations with 4 staff. 

The Chief serves as a liaison with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and is responsible for federal and state compliance reporting; policy development, review, and implementation; and emergency response preparedness, training, and management. As a visible, engaged member of the UWL campus, the Chief upholds and promotes best practices in campus law enforcement, ensuring the safety and security of the University’s diverse campus community and all its assets. Maintaining a focus on continuous improvement and planning for the future, including leading policy development, expansion of campus surveillance technology, and determining facility and staffing needs of this vital campus service, are important priorities. The Chief of Police reports to the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, manages a leadership team of four direct reports, and collaborates with a broad array of campus constituent groups, including faculty, staff, and students, as well as other higher education colleagues and community leaders. 

The position requires a bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred), with at least ten years of progressively responsible law enforcement experience and five years of command supervisory experience at the rank of sergeant or higher. Successful candidates must be certified by the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board (LESB) or another state as a law enforcement officer and be eligible for LESB certification within 12 months of employment. A valid Wisconsin driver’s license, or the ability to obtain a valid Wisconsin driver’s license within six months of employment, and the ability to drive a University vehicle are also required. Additional preferred capabilities and experience that will be important considerations in the selection of the Chief of Police include: experience and success in serving a college/university campus; a vision and understanding of a progressive, comprehensive university police department and technologically sophisticated parking and transportation service; excellent administrative, supervisory, financial management, organizational, oral and written communication, interpersonal, and public relations skills; demonstrated commitment to exceptional customer service; ability to build enduring, collaborative working relationships that engender trust and respect; familiarity with access/control systems and surveillance technology; track record of success advancing police training, developing staff, and leading emergency preparedness exercises; knowledge of, and familiarity with federal, state, county, and municipal laws, including Clery Act, Title IX, and other compliance requirements, as well as IACLEA standards; ability and willingness to work flexible hours; and an unwavering commitment to diversity and to promoting an inclusive campus climate.

Review of applications will begin June 28, 2019, 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 Valerie B. Szymkowicz at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse website at

UWL is an AA/EEO employer and encourages veterans to apply. Employment will require a criminal background check. It will also require candidate and reference response to questions regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment.