Tyrone Parham becomes first black chief of police at Penn State

March, 2011

Tyrone Parham worked for Penn State University Police from 1989 -2016. He served as an auxiliary officer while a student and earned a bachelor’s degree in crime, law and justice and a master’s in workforce education and development, both from Penn State. After graduating, Parham became an officer for University Police. He was promoted several times, ultimately becoming director and chief in 2011.

During his tenure as chief of police at Penn State, Parham was responsible for the operation of police and security for University Park campus, responding to emergency situations, and coordinating with University leadership and local law enforcement. He served on a number of University and community boards and committees as well as professional associations. Among Parham’s accomplishments at Penn State was completing a six-month Police Executive Fellowship Program with the FBI, working with the National Joint Terrorism Task Force. He and another officer received a Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Medal for service to the Pennsylvania National Guard for their work with Operation Salute in September 2006.

Parham accepted an appointment as chief of police at the University of Massachusetts Amherst effective Jan. 11, 2016. (Source: psu.edu)