St. Louis Police Chief to join nationally ranked UMSL Criminology Department

UMSL Chancellor Tom George (second from right) discusses the hiring of St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom (second from left) during a press conference today at UMSL while St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (left) and Finn Esbensen, chair of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at UMSL, look on. Isom will join the criminology department Jan. 1.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Daniel Isom will bring 24 years of experience and expertise in law enforcement and administration to the University of Missouri–St. Louis when he joins the faculty next year.

Isom, who earned bachelor’s (1994), master’s (2003) and doctoral (2008) degrees from UMSL and has maintained a strong connection to the university throughout his career, will join the university’s nationally ranked Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice on Jan. 1.

“I am excited and honored to join the top-ranked department and my alma mater at the University of Missouri–St. Louis,” Isom said. “Over the past 24 years, I have had the pleasure to serve and protect the citizens of St. Louis on the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. During my career, I have had the opportunity to work or manage every aspect of police operations and attend the top law enforcement training programs in the country at the FBI, Harvard University and the Senior Management Institute for Police.”

His faculty appointment will be a non-tenure track teaching position with a substantial service component involving law enforcement and other justice system agencies.

“Along the way, I have taught police officers in the academy and university students,” Isom said. “Research, analysis and evaluation have been the cornerstone of my philosophy of policing. Both law enforcement and education have been my lifelong passions. With this appointment, I have the opportunity to continue to serve the community through education and research in criminal justice field. It’s with the same duty to protect and serve I upheld as a police officer that I accept the position at UMSL and will continue to serve the community.”

UMSL’s criminology doctoral degree program ranks fourth in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Faculty members are not only world-class teachers, but they’re internationally recognized researchers whose work is regularly published in the discipline’s leading peer-reviewed journals. Their expertise spans the major components of the criminal justice system, as well as criminal behavior, gangs, corrections, victimization, theft, law enforcement conduct and illegal drug markets.

Isom began his career as a patrol officer with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in 1988 and rose through the ranks while working in practically every unit, including mobile reserve, police academy, internal affairs, advisory and community outreach. He was named chief of the department in 2008.

“Dan Isom was my first choice to lead the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department,” St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said. “He has been the thinking-person’s chief of police for five years, applying technology and behavioral science to challenges of urban policing. He has made his city a safer place and his department a stronger one.  It will be my honor to call him ‘Professor Isom’ from now on.”

Faculty members said the addition of Isom builds on the university’s commitment to providing students with the best education possible.

“Chief Isom brings to our department the unique perspective and experience of a major city police chief and first-hand knowledge of the opportunities and challenges associated with ensuring public safety,” said Finn Esbensen, chair of the department and the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor in Youth Crime and Violence. “This hire further solidifies the university’s engagement with the City of St. Louis and the surrounding area. It will be great for our students.”

In addition to his new position at UMSL, Isom has been selected as one of eight scholars to participate in the 2013 Eisenhower USA Fellows program. He will travel to Germany in the spring for a monthlong professional fellowship. The program, named in honor of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, promotes exchange of information and ideas among leaders throughout the world. The organization has sponsored more than 2,000 fellows from 108 countries.

Media coverage:

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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St. Louis Business Journal
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KMOX (1120 AM)


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