UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Police and Public Safety has promoted five individuals to the rank of deputy chief, effective Jan. 2, 2018. The deputy chiefs will be assigned as district commanders under a new centralized structure that will unify and streamline police operations at all Penn State Commonwealth Campuses.
"The safety of students, faculty and staff is our primary mission, and our ultimate goal is to create an environment in which every community member at every Penn State campus receives the same level of public safety service," said Charlie Noffsinger, assistant vice president for University Police and Public Safety. "The district commanders will provide key leadership within their respective districts and enable the University to streamline its policing operations and unite distributed police departments, which currently serve 21 campuses across the Commonwealth."
Under the new structure, each district commander will oversee one of five University Police districts, which are comprised of four or five Commonwealth Campuses that have been grouped regionally under a central administrative umbrella. The grouping will help police effectively and efficiently share resources and programming.
The new district commanders and their accompanying districts and campuses are as follows:
- Central District: Lewis Sweigart; campuses: Penn State Dickinson Law, Penn State Harrisburg, Penn State Mont Alto, Penn State York
- Northeast District: Lisa DeLaurentis; campuses: Penn State Hazleton, Penn State Lehigh Valley, Penn State Schuylkill, Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Penn State Worthington Scranton
- Northwest District: Anthony Budris; campuses: Penn State Beaver, Penn State Behrend, Penn State DuBois, Penn State Shenango
- Southeast District: Kevin Rudy; campuses: Penn State Abington, Penn State Berks, Penn State Brandywine, Penn State Great Valley
- Southwest District: Wesley Sheets; campuses: Penn State Altoona, Penn State Fayette, Penn State Greater Allegheny, Penn State New Kensington
Sweigart has been a lieutenant and station commander at Penn State Brandywine since 2013. From 2009 to 2013 he was a police officer at Penn State Mont Alto, and from 2004 to 2009 he was a part-time police officer at Penn State Harrisburg. Previously he was a waterways conservation officer for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and a police officer for the Pennsylvania Capitol Police. A graduate of the Allentown Police Academy, Sweigart earned a bachelor of arts degree from Eastern University and will graduate from Penn State in December 2017 with a master of public administration. Sweigart's office will be located at Penn State Harrisburg.
DeLaurentis is a 20-year veteran of University Police and Public Safety, serving since 2015 as a lieutenant and station commander at the Wilkes-Barre and Worthington Scranton campuses. From 1997 to 2015 she was a patrol officer and crime prevention officer at the Hazleton campus. DeLaurentis earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Penn State and a master of science degree in higher education with a concentration in organizational management and administration from Drexel University. She is a graduate of the Lackawanna College Police Academy. DeLaurentis' office will be located at Penn State Hazleton.
Budris joined Penn State in 2004, serving most recently as a lieutenant and station commander at the Beaver and Shenango campuses since 2012 and 2013, respectively. Budris previously served as a police services officer at Penn State Beaver from 2009 to 2012 and at Penn State Mont Alto from 2004 to 2009. Budris earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Penn State and a master of science degree in organizational leadership from Robert Morris University. He is a graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Police Academy. Budris' office will be located at Penn State Behrend.
Rudy joined Penn State in 2000 as a police services officer at Penn State Berks before being promoted to sergeant in 2007. Since 2011 Rudy has served as a lieutenant and station commander at the Berks and Great Valley campuses. Before joining Penn State, Rudy was a patrol officer, criminal investigator and sergeant at the Reading Police Department from 1980 to 2000. Rudy earned a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice from Alvernia College, and he is a graduate of the Reading Police Academy. Rudy's office will be located at Penn State Berks.
Sheets has been a lieutenant and station commander at the Fayette and New Kensington campuses since 2013. Previously he was a detective and police officer at Robert Morris University, director of judicial affairs in the Office of Student Life at High Point University, and a police officer and school resource officer at California Borough Police Department in California, Pennsylvania. Sheets earned a bachelor of arts degree in justice studies from California University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the Allegheny County Police Training Academy. Sheets' office will be located at Penn State Altoona.
The district commanders will have oversight of policy compliance, audits of assigned tasks and records, budget management, training coordination, resource/staff management, and law enforcement activities within their respective districts. The district commanders will represent the department on various committees, assist with the interpretation of laws and criminal procedure, and collaborate with University partners to address emergencies and safety-related issues. As members of the University Police and Public Safety leadership team, the district commanders will collaborate with senior administration in leading department efforts across the districts. These senior leaders will model and encourage a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.