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McCracken, veteran law enforcement officer, tapped for UNC public safety post

UNC News Services

Lt. Col. Jeff McCracken, deputy director of the Department of Public Safety at UNC, has been named the university’s director of public safety and chief of police.

McCracken, a law enforcement veteran with more than 15 years’ experience, will on August 1 take the helm of a department with a $25 million budget and responsibility for law enforcement, security, transit, transportation planning and traffic and parking. The department includes 200 permanent and 100 temporary employees, including 25 sworn reserve police officers and 52 full-time sworn officers.

In naming McCracken to the position, Carolyn Elfland, associate vice chancellor for campus services, acknowledged McCracken’s extensive knowledge of public safety and his thorough understanding of the UNC campus community.

“Without a doubt, Jeff McCracken is the best person to lead our public safety department,” Elfland said. “With his comprehensive understanding of the vital role public safety plays in an academic setting and his long-term commitment to our campus, he brings a unique set of skills to the position.”

McCracken, who joined the university department in 1993 as an investigator, quickly rose through the ranks, becoming operations major in 1997 and deputy director in 1998. He has served as interim director of the department since March 2007. He also serves as the president of the N.C. Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. McCracken succeeds Derek Poarch, who was appointed bureau chief for the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected as the chief of police and director of the UNC Department of Public Safety,” McCracken said. “I look forward to working with the Department of Public Safety employees and members of the university community to build upon what is already an outstanding organization.”

The department was recently reaccredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. Previously accredited in 1995, 2000 and 2003, it met 446 law enforcement standards to earn the most recent recognition. The UNC department is one of the few accredited university public safety agencies in the country.

A native of Asheville, McCracken grew up in Cary. He and his wife, Jolie, live in Haw River with their two sons, Mason and Nolan.

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