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Penn State Names Interim Police Chief

Penn State announced that Michael Lowery, chief of police and safety at Penn State Altoona, will serve as University Park’s interim director and chief of University Police and Public Safety (interim Chief of Police). He will begin his new assignment on January 7, right before the start of the spring semester.

“I look forward to this appointment and am thankful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity at University Park,” Lowery said in a press release. “It is my goal to ensure the University Police continue the professional service that has become its trademark and that we work to provide for the safest community possible.”

Lowery will temporarily replace Tyrone Parham, who has served as Chief of Police at Penn State since 2011. Parham has been on the police force at the university for 26 years. Earlier this month, it was announced that he accepted the role of Assistant Vice Chancellor/Chief of Police at UMass-Amherst. Parham’s final day is January 6.

“I’m very happy that Michael has graciously agreed to step in to fill this important role at Penn State as we search for a permanent replacement,” David Gray, senior vice president for Finance and Business, said.

It is unclear if Lowery is a candidate to become the permanent Chief of Police. The university stated that it will conduct a national search to find a permanent replacement for Parham, and claimed it will appoint an interim police chief at Penn State Altoona by the end of the year. Furthermore, there is a vacancy for the position of assistant vice president for Police and Public Safety.

“Our Police and Public Safety unit at Penn State maintains a critical role as partners with students, faculty, staff and the broader community,” Gray added. “Michael has a proven track record for achieving community connections and building collective positive actions around safety on campus.”

Lowery has served as the police chief of Penn State Altoona since 2007. He served on the Altoona Police Department for 21 years and graduated from the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Va. One of Lowery’s biggest accomplishments at Penn State Altoona was providing security for Bill Clinton during the former’s president visit to the campus in 2008.

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About the Author

Doug Dooling, Jr.

I am a staff writer for Onward State. I graduated as a Nittany Lion with Honors in 2013. Now, I am back in Happy Valley to earn a degree at the Penn State Law. Outside of politics and government, my interests include college football, soccer, Irish history, and astronomy.


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