July 17, 2009

Washington named chief of VU Police

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August Washington

Washington named chief of VU Police

August Washington, whose 30-year law enforcement career has included service at six universities, was recently named the police chief and an assistant vice chancellor of Vanderbilt University. He begins work on July 27.

Washington, 49, has been chief of police at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville since 2005. There, he has increased community involvement, developed training programs and raised the department’s profile in the UT and Knoxville communities.

“We are delighted to welcome August Washington to Vanderbilt,” said Jerry Fife, interim vice chancellor for Administration. “His strong record of success at high-profile universities including the University of Tennessee and University of Southern California ensures that the security of Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff is in experienced hands.”

Washington, a native of New Orleans, is a graduate of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, and earned his master’s degree in criminal justice from Grambling State University. He began his law enforcement career at University of Louisiana, Lafayette, before working at Portland Community College and Reed College in Oregon. He worked at Indiana State University from 1995 to 1999, leaving as director of public safety. After working a year at the University of Southern California, Washington became chief of police at UT-Knoxville in 2005.

Washington succeeds Marlon Lynch, who served as chief of police at Vanderbilt from January 2007 to February 2009 before returning to his native Illinois and a position at the University of Chicago.

“My family and I are very excited about this opportunity,” Washington said. “I plan to begin by developing relationships – getting to know the people at the university, the medical center, One Hundred Oaks, our friends at the Metro Nashville Police Department and the entire Nashville community. The key to safety and security is working together to contribute to the community as a whole. I can’t wait to get started.”

As chief, Washington, who was chosen after a national search, will oversee one of Tennessee's larger law enforcement agencies, which provides comprehensive law enforcement and security services to all components of Vanderbilt, including the academic campus, Medical Center and a variety of university-owned facilities throughout the Davidson County area, including the newly established Vanderbilt Health at One Hundred Oaks.

Vanderbilt officers with special police commissions have the same authority as that of a municipal law enforcement officer while on property owned by Vanderbilt, on adjacent public streets and sidewalks, and nearby neighborhoods.