Milek to retire; national search to commence for University police chief

March 31, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Joseph Milek, chief of police for Penn State University Police and Public Safety, has announced he will retire June 30 following a 30-year career in law enforcement. 

Joseph Milek Headshot

Joseph Milek is the police chief for Penn State University Police and Public Safety. 

IMAGE: Penn State

“Chief Milek has been instrumental in providing active and engaged leadership while advancing accreditation efforts, centralizing the criminal investigation unit, purchasing body-worn cameras, adapting to policing during COVID-19, and serving on the President’s Task Force on Policing and Communities of Color,” said Charlie Noffsinger, associate vice president for University Police and Public Safety (UPPS). “Although I am happy for Chief Milek for reaching this well-deserved milestone and accomplishment, he will be sorely missed.”

Milek said, “I have been honored to lead in a department dedicated to serving and protecting the Penn State community with respect, professionalism and accountability. I know UPPS will continue to be a leader in innovative campus policing and public safety practices.”

The University will launch a national search for a new police chief.

“Chief Milek's leadership has positively influenced the department and his contributions will have a lasting impact. I know our search will lead us to an excellent candidate who will continue Joe’s forward momentum,” said Sara Thorndike, Penn State senior vice president for Finance and Business. 

Milek joined Penn State in 2019, after serving as assistant chief of police at Oklahoma State University, and was named chief of police operations for Penn State before later being named chief of police. In this role, Milek oversaw police operations at 22 Penn State campuses. Milek also previously served as director of public safety and police chief at Xavier University in Ohio. Milek also served in the Cincinnati Police Department for more than 20 years. He has a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from Xavier University and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati.


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 01, 2021