Whitehead Named Interim Director of Public Safety

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LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, Pa. –  Experienced law enforcement professional Johnny C. Whitehead has been appointed interim director of Lincoln University’s Department of Public Safety effective August 6.  

“We are excited to welcome Mr. Whitehead to our student success team at Lincoln University,” said President Brenda A. Allen. “His credentials and background in law enforcement are commendable as is his own deep commitment to empowering students to achieve their full potential.  I am also delighted to share that Mr. James Connor has chosen to remain with the University under the supervision of Mr. Whitehead.”


Johnny C. Whitehead has been appointed interim director of Lincoln University’s Department of Public Safety. _LU staff photo/Brian Bernas.

Whitehead brings over 30 years of experience in municipal and campus safety to Lincoln University.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with the Lincoln University community, a community with a rich and vibrant history,” said Whitehead.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Whitehead holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from the University of Baltimore and a Master of Science in applied behavioral science from Johns Hopkins University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, a member of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

Whitehead began his career in law enforcement in 1976 joining the Baltimore Police Department. Three years later, Whitehead joined the Baltimore County Police where he rose through the ranks serving as a police officer, corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major, and colonel.

After serving the City of Baltimore for over 20 years, Whitehead served as the chief of police and director of public safety at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, one of the largest residential universities in the country. Whitehead led the police department through the state accreditation process achieving full accreditation by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission and national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

After his tenure in Massachusetts, Whitehead traveled south to Texas where he served as the chief of police and the director of public safety at Rice University. His responsibilities included police services, emergency medical services, parking enforcement, electronic access control, identification badges, and administration of the campus’ security camera program.

While at Rice, Whitehead is credited with reforming the Rice University Police Department by improving training, upgrading technology, and achieving accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

Whitehead developed a reputation for cultivating key stakeholder relationships by fostering trust between law enforcement and the community. He engaged the local community in social justice issues by participating on panels and forums with faculty members and students. Whitehead also created and taught an accredited undergraduate course for Rice students entitled policing and trust.

Whitehead is married to Dr. Kim Whitehead, a retired area superintendent with the Baltimore County School System. Their son, Joshua, is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Whitehead’s appointment aligns with the strategic plan, theme four, “strategically align resources to support institutional priorities,” objective one, “review and revise the organizational structure to facilitate communication, collaboration and accountability within and among units.”

Caption: Johnny C. Whitehead has been appointed interim director of Lincoln University’s Department of Public Safety. LU staff photo/Brian Bernas.