University of Memphis names new police chief

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The University of Memphis announced Monday that a former Little Rock police chief will be the new chief of campus police at U of M.

Keith Humphrey is a 34-year law enforcement veteran, who served with Little Rock police from 2019 until he retired in 2022. Prior to that, he served in the police departments of three cities in Texas and Oklahoma.

“I have always appreciated Chief Humphrey’s leadership, vision, and commitment to public service,” said Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, a University of Memphis alum. “His focus on best practices and 21st-century policing made our police department better and stronger. I am confident he will serve the University of Memphis community well.”

Humphrey will lead a team of approximately 70 employees at the university’s Memphis and Lambuth campuses.

The university said it conducted an extensive search and interview process to identify a candidate with “a proven track record of effective leadership, a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities within a campus environment.”

Humphrey was at the center of some controversy during his tenure in Little Rock, sister station KARK reports. At one point he was sued by department officers, and he also sued the Little Rock Police Department, according to KARK.

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Humphrey said he was honored to be chosen for the University of Memphis job.

“As chief, I will honorably utilize my 34 years of law enforcement experience to further strengthen our established and proactive public safety footprint required to keep students, faculty, and staff safe,” he said in a news release.

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