DeKALB— After an eight-month search process that yielded 24 “qualified applicants,” NIU selected Darren Mitchell, a 21-year veteran of the NIU Police Department as its next Chief of Police.
Mitchell is the first chief to rise through the ranks of the NIU Police Department and become its Chief, according to an NIU news release.
“Darren has demonstrated a clear commitment to progressive policing; a dedication to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion within the department; and a passion for creating a safe and secure environment for all who live, learn and work at NIU,” said Matt Streb, NIU Chief of Staff, who made the hiring decision and whom the chief reports to.
Mitchell is a graduate of NIU with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Prior to becoming a patrol officer in 2000, Mitchell worked as the assistant director of the NIU CHANCE program.
Mitchell has been the interim chief of Police since April when former NIU Police Chief Tom Phillips retired from the department.
As chief, Mitchell plans to increase solicits for the Police-Citizen Advisory group on campus, create the department’s first strategic plan and increase recruiting efforts among women in the NIU Police Department, while always creating a safe environment at NIU, according to the release.
“I’ve come to think of NIU as a home,” Mitchell said in a news release. “I want each generation of new students to feel the same about this university.”