UF names 17-year veteran from Purdue as new police chief
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida has selected as its new police chief Linda J. Stump, now chief of police at Purdue University.
Stump, 41, was selected from among 115 candidates who applied for the position after a five-month nationwide search. Outgoing Chief Everett Stevens will retire June 30 after more than three decades with the UF Police Department.
Stump has more than 17 years of progressive university law-enforcement experience, which includes criminal investigations and patrol at Purdue. She also has worked as a state trooper for the Indiana State Police.
“The University of Florida is very excited and pleased that Ms. Stump has agreed to become the university’s next police chief,” said Ed Poppell, UF vice president for finance and administration. “Ms. Stump will bring a wealth of experience and a proven track record of creative policing to our campus.”
Stump, who is thought to be the first woman police chief at a public university in Florida, will begin her duties July 14. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and corrections from Ball State University and a master’s in higher education administration from Purdue. A native of Lafayette, Ind., she graduated from both the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and the FBI National Academy.
She began her law-enforcement career in 1984 as an Indiana State Police trooper and joined the Purdue department a year later as a patrol officer. She subsequently served as a detective sergeant, detective lieutenant and captain before her appointment as chief in June 1999.
Stump has been a member of Purdue’s Task Force on Women’s Issues; Purdue’s sexual-assault prevention program Partners in Prevention; and the Tippecanoe County, Ind., Domestic Violence Task Force. She also has served on the board of directors of the Tippecanoe County Child Abuse Prevention Committee, and is a certified instructor in firearms, family violence and child abuse, and a computer-enhanced criminal images program called Comphotofit.
“I am honored to have been chosen among such qualified applicants,” Stump said. “My interaction with the administration at Florida has been positive, and our goals on campus safety issues are very similar. I look forward to working in a proven successful environment for the best interests of all students, faculty, staff and visitors.”
Stevens will retire after a distinguished 34-year career with UF, the last half as chief. In addition to leading the university through the fear and trauma of the five student murders in 1990, he spearheaded the effort to have the UF police department accredited both at the state and national levels. In addition, he created the Special Investigations Unit to deal with sex crimes and crimes against women, and the department’s bicycle patrol unit, and has worked with numerous university and local committees helping to shape the Gainesville community and local law enforcement.
- Paula Varnes Fussell