Of Virginia Police Chief Announces Retirement
21, 2000 -- University of Virginia
Police Chief Michael Sheffield announced today he will retire after
16 years as the Universitys top law enforcement officer and
a quarter-century career in law enforcement at the University. He
plans to remain in his position until a successor is named.
very sorry that he plans to retire, but he has certainly earned
the right to do so," said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating
Officer Leonard W. Sandridge. "He is one of the most well-liked
people on Grounds, and he runs an outstanding department."
U.Va. Police Departments ranks include 60 police officers
and investigators and more than 100 U.Va. Hospital security and
community service officers.
55-year-old Charlottesville native, Sheffield first came to the
University as a patrol officer in March 1976 and quickly worked
through the ranks serving as crime prevention officer, director
of safety and security at University Hospital and police captain
for law enforcement before being named chief in 1984.
His tenure has been marked by a focus on crime prevention programs
and technological innovation.
Sheffield, the U.Va. Police Department has made greater use of information
technology, using e-mail to alert students, faculty and staff to
potential danger and introducing a Web-based crime tip program called
"Silent Watch." In 1996, the department entered into a regional
crime analysis program with the Charlottesville and Albemarle County
police departments, using a computer database to track crime trends.
In 1995, the department instituted a video surveillance system to
better monitor potential danger spots on Grounds.
department helped co-found the University Escort Service with a
student group in 1985, and later took over the service altogether.
helped coordinate security for major events, including the visits
of U.S. presidents and other dignitaries, a national governors
conference and the 1998 Nobel Peace Laureates Conference. He also
led the department and the University through several crises, including
the tragic collapse of the Pavilion I balcony during graduation
exercises in 1997, a highly publicized confrontation between a student
and police officer in the fall of 1997 that raised racial tensions
on Grounds, and a 1991 drug raid on three U.Va. fraternity houses.
was given the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in 1991, recognizing
"excellence of character and service to humanity." He is a past
winner of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement
Administrations meritorious service award and the Virginia
Crime Prevention Associations O.W. Cundiff Award.
He has served on several state and University boards and task forces,
and has chaired the Universitys Parking and Transportation
his memberships in local, state and national professional organizations,
Sheffield has served as president of Camp Albemarle and director
of Region III Special Olympics. He has also been a member of the
boards of several local organizations, including the Virginia Alcohol
Safety Action Program and the Chamber of Commerce Leadership
The search for Sheffields successor will begin immediately,
Louise Dudley, (804) 924-1400