Lowery named interim Penn State police chief

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Michael Lowery, chief of police and safety at Penn State Altoona, has been named the interim director and chief of University Police and Public Safety at University Park, effective Jan. 7, according to David Gray, senior vice president for Finance and Business.

Lowery will take over for Tyrone Parham, who is leaving Penn State to become the chief of police at the University of Massachusetts Amherst after five years as chief of police and public safety at the University. In total, Parham served Penn State in various law enforcement roles for 26 years.

“I’m very happy that Michael has graciously agreed to step in to fill this important role at Penn State as we search for a permanent replacement,” Gray said. “Our Police and Public Safety unit at Penn State maintains a critical role as partners with students, faculty, staff and the broader community. Michael has a proven track record for achieving community connections and building collective positive actions around safety on campus.”

Lowery will be responsible for the operation of police and security for the University Park campus, including overseeing 50 sworn officers, responding to emergency situations and coordinating with University leadership and local law enforcement.

“I look forward to this appointment and am thankful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity at University Park,” Lowery said. “It is my goal to ensure the University Police continue the professional service that has become its trademark and that we work to provide for the safest community possible.”

Lowery has served as Penn State Altoona chief of police and safety since 2007.

Before joining Penn State Altoona, Lowery was a veteran of the Altoona Police Department for 21 years. He holds a degree in criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

An interim police chief to oversee Penn State Altoona’s eight-member force will be named by Dec. 31.

Gray said the University will be conducting a national search for a permanent director and chief of University Police. Penn State also is in the midst of a national search for an assistant vice president for Police and Public Safety, a position that is currently open.