News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

April 2, 2014

ISU promotes Newport to police chief

Veteran officer has long experience with THPD and university

TERRE HAUTE — Former Terre Haute Police Chief Joe Newport has been named Indiana State University director of public safety/university police chief, the school said Wednesday in a press release. Newport’s appointment is effective immediately.

Newport, a 38-year law enforcement veteran, has served ISU’s Public Safety Department as associate director/assistant chief since 1999 and as interim director since January, following the retirement of Bill Mercier.

“Joe has a long and distinguished career in law enforcement as both a line officer and in senior administrative positions,” Diann McKee, vice president for business affairs and finance, said in announcing Newport’s appointment. “Joe brings the background, training and experience to continue the progress made under Bill Mercier’s leadership to provide an effective, well-trained public safety and police team on the Indiana State University campus that is needed to maintain a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff.”

Newport was THPD chief for three years and was its chief of detectives for six years. His career at THPD lasted from 1976 to 1999.

“I have always appreciated ISU giving me the opportunity to be the associate director a number of years ago,” Newport said. “Working with Chief Bill Mercier for 14 years could not have been better. He helped me understand the similarities and unique differences between a traditional police model and one at a university.

“I will continue the solid programs he created, including a selection system that has allowed this department to grow professionally. Additionally, the completion of an approved national accreditation process, begun more than two years ago, is a priority.”

Of Newport’s appointment, ISU President Dan Bradley said: “By its nature, the position of university police chief requires a high degree of discretion, judgment, sensitivity to university constituents and respect earned from peers and others on campus. Joe exhibits all of these abilities.”

Newport holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Indiana State and has completed 15 hours of post-graduate work. He is a graduate of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children presented Newport with a certificate of appreciation in 2013 for 11 years of service as a consultant to that organization. He is a former Vigo County Police Officer of the Year, has won law enforcement awards from the Terre Haute Chapter of NAACP and Vigo County Victims Assistance and was honored with Indiana State’s University Medallion.

He is a member of the International Association of College Law Enforcement Administrators, Federal Correctional Complex-Terre Haute community relations board, NAACP-Terre Haute, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 85 and St. Patrick’s Parish. He is law enforcement representative for Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center District 7 and a former member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the International Homicide Investigators Association.

 A search for a new associate director will begin immediately, McKee said.

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