Previous Chiefs and Directors

Director John T. Brook 1970-1985

John T. Brook served as the University’s first director of public safety until he retired in 1985. He also served as the assistant to the president for special projects, vice president for personnel and employee relations, and vice president for government relations. According to John Brook, “Campus law enforcement was a new field that had to be built from the ground up.” He has witnessed the gradual growth of the police department, and admires the hard work and dedication of the men and women who contributed in the years following his retirement.

Director Douglas F. Tuttle 1985-1997

Under Director Tuttle’s command, the department became a sworn police agency in the summer of 1988. This gave the University the authority to appoint police officers and was a momentous victory for the future of the department. Following retirement, Tuttle became a councilman in Newark. His time at the University inspired his involvement. According to Councilman Tuttle, “The institution (UD) is such a major factor. There is a value in having someone at the institution at least sitting at the table involved in city government”.

Chief Lawrence O. Thornton, Jr. 1997-2005

Thornton’s career in law enforcement began 1966 with the Newark Police Department. He retired in 1987 at the rank of Captain and joined UD’s Department of Public Safety. He was promoted from senior associate director of the department to director in 1997. Thornton improved the relationship between the Department and the community by interacting in community groups. He also led multiple technological advances for the department such as installing mobile data terminals in all campus police cars and acquiring portable radios. Thornton says, “I have watched the department evolve as a professional organization, and that has been made possible by the hard work and professional dedication of our staff”.

Chief James J. Flatley 2005-2009

James Flatley began his law enforcement career in Baltimore before joining the University of Delaware’s Department of Public Safety in 1978 as an investigator. He moved up the ladder and obtained the position of assistant director in 1998, and eventually served as an interim director in 2005. Under Chief Flatley’s command, the Department gained its first accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2007. James Flatley greatly enjoyed his time with the department, and found it critical to build on what the chiefs before him had already done. “I found that the men and women of the department were dedicated and professional. I believe all had the goal of moving the department forward”.