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Police Chief Tyrone Parham Finalist For Job At UMass

Penn State Police Chief Tyrone Parham might be heading up north after 26 years at the university. The 1993 Penn State grad is one of three finalists being considered to become the chief of the UMass Police Department, according to the the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

“I read the job description and it sounded like me, to be honest,” Parham said at a forum earlier this week. Parham said he is attracted to the professional development opportunities the position offers, noting that the department is better staffed than Penn State’s, and that he is ready for the next chapter of his career.

If selected, Parham will also serve as the assistant vice chancellor at UMass, a position that will see the new chief, whomever that ends up being, taking on more of a campus leadership role as well as expanded community policing duties.

“My entire career experience is from campus law enforcement,” Parham said. “I’m not sure I’d want to work in an environment that is not a campus.”

Parham became involved in the Penn State police department when he was a freshman, and after changing his major from engineering to criminal justice, rose through the ranks, taking the role of chief in 2011. The chief is well versed in practically anything a university can throw at a police department — everything from rallies, riots, and State Patty’s Day to student safety and large gatherings of people on campus, including tailgates.

“I love working on a college campus, I love our students, love the vibrancy and all the things that happen daily on a college campus. You have to love people working on a college campus, and I love people.”

Parham is up against deputy chief of the New York City Police Department, Joseph Riley, and chief of police and director of emergency management at Clark Atlanta University, Thomas Trawick. The position became available last May when former chief John Horvath left to take a position elsewhere, and a 22-member selection committee was compiled to sift through the 75 applications for the position.

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About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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