UMass Lowell Names New Police Chief
LOWELL, Mass. – A veteran police officer with a distinguished record in community policing and campus public safety will be the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s new police chief.
Randolph Brashears of Palmyra, Va., was named as UMass Lowell’s director of public safety following a national search by a committee comprised of faculty, staff, students and community representatives. He will join UMass Lowell on April 5 and an official swearing-in ceremony will be held May 4.
Brashears’ long career includes 20 years with the Baltimore County Police Department in Maryland, including roles in criminal investigations, internal affairs and the community drug and violence interdiction team. His last nine years with the department were focused on community policing, including working with elected officials and neighborhood groups to solve problems and build relationships. Since 2007, he has served as commander of investigations for the University of Virginia Police Department.
“Lt. Brashears brings a unique blend of experience to UMass Lowell, offering tremendous skills and experience in community policing and in campus public safety,” said Chancellor Marty Meehan. “When we set out to find the next chief of our department, we were looking for someone who offers both solid leadership in law enforcement as well as the proven ability to be a relationship-builder, both on campus and in the community.”
“My experience in community policing has given me a firsthand look at what can be accomplished if we all work together,” said Brashears. “I look forward to meeting students, faculty and staff, as well as my partners in the region.”
Brashears holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Baltimore and has completed additional studies at the University of Virginia. He has also undergone extensive specialized law enforcement training, including programs with the FBI, as well as those focused specifically on campus public safety. He is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.
Brashears was chosen from more than 170 applicants. The selection process included visits to the UMass Lowell campus for a tour, a ride-along on a typical night patrol and meetings with the search committee, top administrators, representatives of the police department and Residence Life staff.
“The search committee really had the safety and security of the entire campus community in mind throughout the hiring process and we were looking for someone who would excel as UMass Lowell moves forward with its strategic plan,” said Steven O’Riordan, associate vice chancellor for financial services, who headed the search committee. “We are very proud of our recommendation. Randy brings skills and experiences that will strengthen our police department and the relationship with the city of Lowell. He’s a great addition to our team and I am personally looking forward to working with him.”
Brashears will succeed Allan Roscoe, who has been heading the UMass Lowell Police Department in an interim capacity since 2008 and did not apply for the permanent position. Roscoe, who earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice at UMass Lowell, had a lengthy career in anti-terrorism, national security and intelligence with various international police and government organizations before joining the university’s faculty in 1999.
Roscoe, who has continued to teach while working as police chief, will return to UMass Lowell’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, where he specializes in courses related to homeland security and anti-terrorism.
“Allan Roscoe brought our police department through a critical time of transition, not only as a temporary chief but also as a leader who changed the culture and increased the diversity of our police force. He laid the groundwork for the future of our police department,” said Meehan. “Our new chief will continue Chief Roscoe’s fine work, strengthening the ‘town and gown’ relationships he cultivated.”