Michele Barrett, assistant chief of the Indiana State University Public Safety Department, will become interim chief on Jan. 3 after the retirement of current Chief Joe Newport.

Barrett, who has been assistant chief at  ISU since 2014, will become the first woman to occupy the position of chief at ISU.

“Michele is an experienced law enforcement officer who will lead public safety through a transition after Joe Newport’s long and successful tenure,” said Diann McKee, ISU’s senior vice president for Finance and Administration, in a news release issued this morning.

“I have high confidence in Michele’s professionalism and skills, and I am especially grateful that Michele is someone who already has been a department leader and has earned the respect of her fellow officers and the Public Safety team,” McKee said.

“I am grateful for this opportunity," Barrett said, "and I am looking forward to serving in this new role within our Public Safety Department. We have tremendous officers who are dedicated to campus safety.”

Barrett worked for the Terre Haute Police Department from 1993 until joining ISUPD. Her positions at THPD were lieutenant in charge of accreditation; sergeant in the violent crimes unit; patrol sergeant; detective working juvenile and white collar crimes; and patrol officer.

Barrett grew up in Terre Haute. She graduated from Terre Haute South Vigo High School and Purdue University.

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