Penn State will be looking for a new University Police and Public Safety chief for the third time in five years.
Chief Joseph Milek announced on Wednesday that he will retire on June 30 after just under two years at Penn State and 30 years in law enforcement.
“I have been honored to lead in a department dedicated to serving and protecting the Penn State community with respect, professionalism and accountability,” Milek said in a statement. “I know UPPS will continue to be a leader in innovative campus policing and public safety practices.”
The university will conduct a national search for his replacement.
Milek came to Penn State in August 2019 from Oklahoma State University, where he was assistant chief of police. He was previously director of public safety at Xavier University and spent more than 20 years with the Cincinnati Police Department.
At Penn State, he has overseen police operations at 22 campuses.
Charlie Noffsinger, associate vice president for University Police and Public Safety, lauded Milek for his “engaged leadership,” advancing accreditation efforts, centralizing the department’s criminal investigation unit, overseeing the purchase of body-worn cameras, adapting policies during COVID-19 and serving on the Task Force on Policing and Communities of Color.
“Although I am happy for Chief Milek for reaching this well-deserved milestone and accomplishment, he will be sorely missed,” Noffsinger said.
Milek replaced former chief Keith Morris, who left the position in 2019 after less than two years. Morris came to Penn State in April 2017 after a 15-month search following following former chief Tyrone Parham’s departure in December 2015.
“Chief Milek’s leadership has positively influenced the department and his contributions will have a lasting impact. I know our search will lead us to an excellent candidate who will continue Joe’s forward momentum,” Sara Thorndike, Penn State senior vice president for finance and business, said in a statement.
Penn State police is divided into six districts in Pennsylvania: northwest, southwest, central, southeast, northeast and University Park, each led by a district commander. While Milek was based at University Park and oversaw all six districts, Deputy Chief Stephanie Delaney is commander of the University Park police station and remains in that role.