Indiana State University Newsroom

Newport tapped as university police chief

April 2, 2014

Indiana State University officials have named Joe Newport as director of public safety/university police chief.

A 38-year law enforcement veteran, Newport has served the university's Public Safety Department as associate director/assistant chief since 1999 and as interim director since January following the retirement of Bill Mercier.

"Joe has a long and distinguished career in law enforcement as both a line officer and in senior administrative positions," Diann McKee, vice president for business affairs and finance, said in announcing Newport's appointment. "Joe brings the background, training and experience to continue the progress made under Bill Mercier's leadership to provide an effective, well trained public safety and police team on the Indiana State University campus that is needed to maintain a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff."

Prior to coming to Indiana State, Newport served the Terre Haute Police Department from 1976-99, including three years as chief and six years as chief of detectives.

"By its nature, the position of university police chief requires a high degree of discretion, judgment, sensitivity to university constituents, and respect earned from peers and others on campus. Joe exhibits all of these abilities," said Dan Bradley, Indiana State University President.

"I have always appreciated ISU giving me the opportunity to be the associate director a number of years ago," Newport said. "Working with Chief Bill Mercier for 14 years could not have been better. He helped me understand the similarities and unique differences between a traditional police model and one at a university. I will continue the solid programs he created, including a selection system that has allowed this department to grow professionally. Additionally, the completion of an approved national accreditation process, begun more than two years ago, is a priority."

Newport holds a bachelor's degree in criminology from Indiana State, and has completed 15 hours of post graduate work. He is a graduate of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children presented him with a Certificate of Appreciation in 2013 for 11 years of service as a consultant to that organization. He is a former Vigo County Police Officer of the Year and is a past recipient of law enforcement awards from the Terre Haute Chapter of NAACP and Vigo County Victims Assistance and Indiana State's University Medallion.

He is a member of the International Association of College Law Enforcement Administrators, Federal Correctional Complex-Terre Haute community relations board, NAACP-Terre Haute, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 85 and St. Patrick's Parish. He is law enforcement representative for Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center District 7 and a former member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the International Homicide Investigators Association.

Newport's appointment as Indiana State University police chief is effective immediately. A search for a new associate director will begin immediately, McKee said.


Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or