UC names new director of public safety and chief of police

President Neville Pinto announces hiring of Eliot Isaac as UC's next leader of public safety

University of Cincinnati President Neville Pinto announced today that Eliot Isaac has been named UC’s new director of public safety and chief of police.

Eliot Isaac

Eliot Isaac

Chief Isaac emerged as the top candidate following a national search. He comes to UC following seven years of distinguished service as police chief for the city of Cincinnati. His service spanned 33 years with the Cincinnati Police Department. 

“Chief Isaac is recognized as a leader in community engagement,” said Pinto. “He has spent his career creating partnerships and solving crime by relying on intelligence-led policing strategies.” 

Isaac said he is eager to continue the next chapter of his professional journey by serving the students, faculty, staff and the entire UC community.

“I am extremely excited about this opportunity,” said Isaac. “I recognize the jewel that the University of Cincinnati is for the greater Cincinnati region, and I am thrilled to join the UC team.  

"I look forward to building upon the accomplishments in Public Safety and deepening the relationships with all of our partners.” 

Isaac joined the Cincinnati police force as a recruit in 1988 then rose through the ranks all the way to chief, where he oversaw more than a thousand officers. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in human resource development from Xavier University. He is also a veteran of the United States Army National Guard and a graduate of the FBI National Academy. 

“His love for this community and his experience leading a top-notch police force made him an obvious choice to lead at UC,” said Pinto. “I’m confident he will be an outstanding safety advocate for our campus.” 

Isaac will take over April 1 from James Whalen, who is retiring after having served as UC’s public safety director since 2015.  

“I’m incredibly grateful to Director Whalen for his outstanding service,” said Pinto. “I’m also appreciative of the committee led by Vice President Bleuzette Marshall, who oversaw the national search for Whalen’s successor.”  

The committee included students, faculty, staff and community representatives. And the process included multiple opportunities for community engagement.

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