FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2008
Contact: K.E. Schwab
SRU names Allegheny County Police commander as new chief
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Robert F. Downey, a lieutenant/commander with Allegheny County Police, has been named director and chief of University Police at Slippery Rock University.
Downey begins his duties Aug. 18. He earned a master's degree in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor of arts in criminal justice from LaRoche College. He joined the county police in 1980 and served as a uniformed patrol officer, detective, uniformed sergeant and detective sergeant, before being promoted to lieutenant/commander of the general investigations unit in 2002. He is a 1980 graduate of the Allegheny County Police Training Academy.
"We welcome Chief Downey to the University. I believe his vast experience, integrity and skills will continue to build and improve the safe campus we enjoy. I am confident the leadership talents he brings to the post will be an asset our University community welcomes. I know he will work well with the diversity of the campus community as well as with local and regional police departments and the Pennsylvania State Police ensuring those in our community and visitors to our campus have a positive experience." said SRU President Robert Smith.
"I look forward to my role as chief at Slippery Rock University and will bring a fresh perspective to the ever-changing face of law enforcement by utilizing the leadership skills and knowledge gained during the course of my career," Downey said. "I look forward to working with students, faculty and staff to keep SRU a safe campus.
Downey headed the security committee for the 2007 U.S. Open Golf Champion played at Allegheny County's Oakmont County Club. The event, which drew an estimated 60,000 daily visitors, included supervision and coordination of some 200 police officers. The work included coordination with various local, state and federal agencies, including county police, sheriff's offices, Pennsylvania State Police, the FBI, railroad police, the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Department of Homeland Security as well as medical and fire response units, to create a safe environment for golfers and event visitors as well as non-participating local residents.
A graduate of the FBI's National Academy, Downey has attended POSIT (Police Supervisory In-Service Training), POLEX (Police Executive Development) and Advanced POLEX law enforcement training programs. He is a former officer with the Allegheny County Police Association and as a graduate of the Virginia School of Polygraph, is a certified polygraph examiner. He serves as police cadet instructor with the Allegheny County Police Academy and as assistant tactical commander for the Allegheny County Police S.W.A.T. He was trained as a crisis negotiator by the FBI and is a founding member of the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Athletic Association, which is the governing body for the Pennsylvania Police Olympics.
The 21-member SRU Police Department operates on a 24/7/365 basis, to protect the 610-acre campus as well as off-campus facilities, including the Old Stone House.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.