August 26, 2022

Purdue names new chief of the Purdue University Police Department

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University announced Friday (Aug. 26) that Deputy Chief Lesley Wiete will be the new chief of the Purdue University Police Department.

Wiete was chosen after a national search, launched in May, to screen and recommend well-qualified candidates to Jay Wasson, vice president and chief public safety officer, to whom the chief of police reports.

“Deputy Chief Wiete’s dedication to this university and our community make her the ideal choice for this vital role,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said. “Through her experience and proven record during 22 years with PUPD, she has earned the respect of her peers and persistently works to improve processes and relationships. We look forward to her leadership and service.”

Three finalists selected by the search committee – narrowed down from a pool of 19 total candidates—visited the West Lafayette campus to meet with stakeholders and give public presentations the week of Aug. 8.

“The participation of the campus community through attendance at the public presentations and their feedback in the post-presentation evaluations were key inputs into this selection process,” Wasson said. “All three of the final candidates were dedicated professionals, but Deputy Chief Wiete has the essential credentials, the most comprehensive experience, a clear and compelling vision for the future of the department and a strong network of relationships built on years of service to the campus and community.”

Deputy Chief Wiete is a 22-year veteran of the PUPD. She began her career as a patrol officer in 1999 and was promoted to sergeant of patrol in 2002, lieutenant of patrol in 2009, captain of administrative services in 2019 and deputy chief of police in 2021. As deputy chief, Wiete has been responsible for the successful management of home football games; leadership of the patrol division, the largest division in PUPD; coordination of community outreach and police services; reaccreditation activities for the Commission for Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA); and acting as the chief of police when the chief was absent.

Wiete holds a bachelor’s degree from Purdue and a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix. She recently graduated from the elite Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command, an intensive leadership and management program for experienced law enforcement officers.

As chief of the Purdue University Police Department, Wiete will be charged with delivering effective law enforcement and with planning, directing and overseeing the operational, financial and staffing operations of the Purdue University Police Department. She will have responsibility for protecting the public and property for the Boilermaker community and developing and maintaining relationships with university stakeholders and with county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Deputy Chief Wiete will assume the role of chief of the Purdue University Police Department on Thursday (Sept. 1), and an official swearing-in and pinning ceremony will be held in the coming weeks.

Note to Journalists: A headshot photo of Lesley Wiete is available on Google Drive.

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