University Police Chief Tyrone Parham to leave Penn State for position at UMass

December 03, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Tyrone Parham, who has served as director and chief of University Police for nearly five years, has accepted an appointment as chief of police at the University of Massachusetts Amherst effective Jan. 11, 2016.

Parham’s last day at Penn State will be Jan. 6. David Gray, senior vice president for Finance and Business, said he will announce an interim appointment for director of Police and Public Safety in the coming weeks, followed by a national search to permanently fill the position.

“Tyrone Parham has provided exemplary service to Penn State for more than two decades. For the past five years, he has served as the chief of police for the University Park campus. The importance of this role to the security and well-being of our large campus community cannot be overstated,” Gray said. “Most recently, Chief Parham led a successful effort to secure accreditation of our police department from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA). This is a significant milestone that relatively few police agencies achieve. We will miss Tyrone’s steady leadership, but wish to gratefully acknowledge his many contributions and also to wish him well as he takes on a new professional challenge at the University of Massachusetts Amherst."

The University is also conducting a national search for an assistant vice president for Police and Public Safety, a position that is currently open.

Parham has worked for University Police since 1989, including serving as an auxiliary officer while a student. He earned a bachelor’s degree in crime, law and justice and a master’s in workforce education and development, both from Penn State. Parham became an officer for University Police after graduation and was promoted several times, becoming director and chief in 2011.

As chief of police at Penn State, Parham has been responsible for the operation of police and security for University Park campus, including overseeing 50 sworn officers, responding to emergency situations and coordinating with university leadership and local law enforcement.

He has served on a number of University and community boards and committees as well as professional associations. Among Parham’s accomplishments at Penn State was completing a six-month Police Executive Fellowship Program with the FBI, working with the National Joint Terrorism Task Force. He and another officer received a Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Medal for service to the Pennsylvania National Guard for their work with Operation Salute in September 2006.

Parham said his four years as a student auxiliary officer helped him formulate his career path.

"I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to serve the Penn State community for the past 26 years,” Parham said. “I will sincerely miss my friends, colleagues and people I've worked with on a daily basis across the entire county and state. As the next chapter in my life evolves, I'll always cherish my times at Penn State. I am looking forward to sharing my experiences and moving on to the next challenge as the assistant vice chancellor/chief of police at UMass Amherst."

UMass Amherst is the system’s flagship location, enrolling more than 28,000 students. The assistant vice chancellor/chief of police is responsible for running the police department, which has 61 officers. In his new role, Parham will serve as a key adviser to the vice chancellor on issues of campus safety, security and community policing.

“We are very fortunate to have Tyrone Parham join our campus leadership,” said Enku Gelaye, vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life at UMass Amherst. “He clearly understands the complexity of a public flagship university and the importance of working collaboratively with all members of our community, while his commitment to community policing reflects his values of responsiveness and respectfulness.”

  • Tyrone Parham, who has served as director and chief of University Police for nearly five years, has accepted an appointment as chief of police at the University of Massachusetts Amherst effective Jan. 11, 2016.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated August 06, 2020