Towson University gives interim police chief the permanent post

Col. Charles “Joe” Herring is the Towson University Police Department’s permanent chief after six months as its interim leader, according to a university press release.

"I am truly grateful and humbled to receive this opportunity to continue to serve the university community and work with the fine officers and staff of the Office of Public Safety," Chief Herring said in the press release. "I look forward to continuing the long standing and successful partnership with the university community that has helped to keep our campus a safe place to pursue and education, work, live and participate in the university experience."

Herring, who was previously deputy chief, stepped in as interim chief of the department when Bernard Gerst retired from the role after 17 years on June 29. The department polices Towson University property and has more than 40 sworn officers.

The university conducted a nationwide search, something university spokesman Sean Welsh is standard practice for a high-profile position like police chief.

“This [search] yielded some really good candidates, and Joe was the best,” Welsh said.

Before he joined Towson University’s police force, Herring spent 21 years with the Baltimore County Police Department, according to the press release. He also served in the Bel Air and Port Deposit police departments, as well as the University of Baltimore Police Department. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from University of Baltimore, the release said.

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