University of Memphis Selects New Police Chief
Humphrey Brings 34 Years of Law Enforcement, Community Engagement Experience to Campus
February 12, 2024 — The University of Memphis today announced long-time law enforcement professional Keith Humphrey as its next campus police chief, filling a key public safety position at the University. With a proven track record in law enforcement and community outreach, Humphrey brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the position.
Throughout an extensive search and interview process, the selection committee’s top priority was to identify a candidate with a proven track record of effective leadership, a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities within a campus environment. With the appointment of the new police chief, the university aims to further strengthen its commitment to ensuring the well-being of all members of the campus community.
“Chief Humphrey comes to the University of Memphis with decades of experience in law enforcement, and it is his dedication to lifelong learning and community engagement that makes him the right person for this essential role on our campuses,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer/Chief Financial Officer Rene Bustamante. “He will play a vital role in our campuswide efforts to maintain a safe and supportive environment where everyone can thrive academically, professionally and personally.”
Humphrey’s 34-year public safety career began in Arlington, Texas, with a population of 392,000 people, where he served as a patrol, training, and internal affairs sergeant from 2000-2005. He was then promoted to the geographic patrol sector commander and later became the criminal support commander.
From there, Humphrey served as the chief of police for three municipal administrations: first for Lancaster, Texas, population of 40,000, from 2008 to 2011; then in Norman, Oklahoma, population 128,000, from 2011 to 2019; and most recently in Little Rock, Arkansas, population 200,000, in 2019. In 2022, he retired from his position in Little Rock with the support and gratitude from the city’s mayor.
“I have always appreciated Chief Humphrey’s leadership, vision and commitment to public service,” said Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, a University of Memphis alum. “His focus on best practices and 21st century policing made our police department better and stronger. I am confident he will serve the University of Memphis community well.”
At the University of Memphis and its Lambuth Campus, Humphrey will lead a team of approximately 70 employees with the mission to keep the University of Memphis a safe place to learn, live, and work. University police officers are responsible for providing all law enforcement services to the campus community, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
“I am honored and humbled to have been selected to head the University of Memphis Police Department. My desire and passion for this position exists because I recognize a university as a unique 24/7/365 community,” said Humphrey. “As chief, I will honorably utilize my 34 years of law enforcement experience to further strengthen our established and proactive public safety footprint required to keep students, faculty and staff safe.”
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