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Gary Williams Appointed as Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Police Department

Gary Williams, a 21-year veteran of the University of Pennsylvania Police Department (UPPD) has been selected to serve as Chief of Police following an extensive search. The announcement was made on January 17, 2023, by Kathleen Shields Anderson, J.D., MBA, Vice President for Public Safety.

Chief Williams joined Penn in 2001 after spending four years with the Philadelphia Police Department. He was promoted to Sergeant Patrol after just one year with Penn. He next held the Executive Lieutenant position, where he served on the accident Safety Review Board, Emergency Response Team, UPPD Bike Unit, Police Athletic League commander and the community response unit. He also served as the Liaison to student groups across Penn’s campus. Williams was then promoted to Captain of Patrol, where he held responsibilities for management of daily Patrol Operations, police operations activities and compliance, and liaison with local community organizations.

Vice President Anderson appointed Williams as Interim Chief of Police in May of 2022. His role expanded to include a larger management portfolio, with responsibility for daily operations, uniform patrol, criminal investigations, event and emergency management, medical and mental health response, and community engagement.

Chief William’s accomplishments at Penn include the development of the Strategic Crime Prevention west end Grid Patrol, time spent as Emergency Response Team Commander and Division of Public Safety Union Negotiation Team Member. His certifications include National Nuclear Security Administration, Philadelphia Police Department Crime Scene Investigations, GBI law enforcement Executive, Public Agency Training Council and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Field Force Extraction Tactics.

“Gary Williams has been a long-trusted source at Penn. He will apply his solid understanding of campus policing and the Penn and the West Philadelphia communities to be a thoughtful and engaged leader,” Vice President Anderson said. “I would like to offer my thanks to the community search committee members for their time and thoughtful consideration of the exceptional candidates considered for this position.”