Police Chief James Overton to lead the Univ. Police Dept
The University has named Chief James T. Overton to head the DSU Police Department for the second time in his career, this time succeeding Chief Bobby Cummings who retired at the end of May.
He began that first tenure with DSU as Deputy Chief of Police in 2000, and then served as the University’s Chief of Police from 2005 until 2011.
During that initial tenure, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators named Chief Overton as the recipient of its 2008 Administrative Excellence Award. The honor was in recognition of Chief Overton’s successful grant writing that resulted in numerous upgrades to DSU campus security – including the installations of surveillance cameras, and upgrades to the patrol car communication/camera systems, crime scene processing technology, and the Dispatch Center.
“I am pleased that the University has hired Chief James Overton, who has a proven history of transforming public safety here at DSU,” said Dr. Gwen Scott-Jones, the Dean of the University Wesley College of Health and Behavioral Sciences. “Chief Overton has started collaborating with me in my role as the Chair of the Safe Space Coalition and other campus leaders to assess safety concerns across campuses. His campus safety experience, transparency, compassion and authenticity will serve us well here at DSU and we are looking forward to working with him and the public safety team.”
Chief Overton left DSU in 2011 to become the Chief of Police for the Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts. After a year in that position, he was named as UMass’ interim Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, serving from 2012-2016. He was then appointed as a Senior Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs from 2016-2018. During his UMass tenure, he also served as an adjunct sociology instructor, teaching criminal justices and social deviance courses.
Over the last five years, Chief Overton worked in business development with the Security Division of Johnson Controls, and then as a Senior Accounting Manager for Adventech, a systems integration company specializing in security solutions. He also served in the Delaware Air National Guard from 1990-2014.
Chief Overton said his is “excited and humbled” to return to Delaware State University.
“As an alum and former Chief, I feel like I’m returning home and it just feels right. The University and the world have changed during my 12 years away, but my experiences during that time have prepared me for this,” Chief Overton said. “I plan to move the department into the future by collaborating with the student body, building stronger relationships with my Delaware law enforcement partners, and upgrading our technology. My officers and staff are ready for the challenge and will work hard to keep the campus community safe.”
A DSU alumnus, Chief Overton earned a Bachelor of Science degree n Sociology (2004). Prior to that completed an Associate’s degree in Police Science from Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Va. In 2010, he completed a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Wilmington College.
His continuing education also include certificates from the Professional Executive Leadership School in Richmond, Va., and Executive Development Institute at Northwestern University Center for Public Safety in Evanston, Ill.