Jeff Christensen, a longtime University of Illinois police officer, has been selected to be the next police chief for the university police force, pending approval of the board of trustees next month.
Christensen has been the interim chief and director of public safety since February, following the departure of Barbara O’Connor. O'Connor, who left the UI to become chief and director of public safety at the University of Connecticut, had been the UI's chief since the summer of 2008.
As an undergraduate student at the UI, Christensen was one of the campus’s first student-patrol supervisors. He was hired as a patrol officer in 1985, promoted to lieutenant in 1990, and has been the department’s deputy chief and assistant director since 2005.
Chancellor and Vice President Phyllis Wise said Christensen’s long-time association with the university and its police department will be an advantage to him, the department and the university.
“We are so fortunate to have Jeff become our permanent police chief,” Wise said in a release. “He is thoroughly familiar with the many issues that university police must face and he already is well-versed in specific campus issues, procedures and protocol,” she said. “He brings to the job a goal of making our campus police department even better, as well as a host of already developed connections with our campus and external stakeholders."
Christensen also served as interim chief during the O’Connor search. In 1998 he received a Chancellor’s Distinguished Staff Award.
“I feel honored to serve this campus and our fine department as the chief of police,” Christensen said. “We are very fortunate to have an extremely high-quality and professional staff that works day in and day out with passion. With our current and continuing initiatives, coupled with a supportive community, I am enthusiastic and excited being able to move permanently into this position.”