McDermed to head university police department

McDermed, who led the transition to a fully sworn police force, is the new chief
McDermed, who led the transition to a fully sworn police force, is the new chief

Carolyn McDermed has accepted the offer to serve as police chief and executive director of the University of Oregon Police Department, said Jamie Moffitt, chief financial officer and vice president for Finance and Administration.

McDermed, who has been serving as interim chief, is expected to begin July 1, pending review and approval of all necessary paperwork and background checks.

“It really is an honor and a privilege to serve this department and this university,” McDermed said. “I’m very excited about working with the officers and staff here, and all our partners on campus, in moving the department forward and raising the bar for safety and security at the UO. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.”

McDermed has worked nearly 30 years in law enforcement and is experienced in progressively responsible policing and law enforcement.

She went to college to be a veterinarian. But with an associate’s degree in animal health from a Canadian university, she faced a long wait list to get into one of only two veterinary schools in the country.

McDermed moved to San Diego, where job opportunities working with large animals were scarce. On a dare, she applied at the San Diego Police Department at a time when they were actively recruiting women into the police force.

McDermed served as a line officer and field training officer with the San Diego department. She also served with the Eugene Police Department for 17 years, as an officer and commander.

She has been with the UO for five years, as assistant and interim chief. During this period, McDermed led the transition of the public safety office to a police department with fully sworn police officers.

“I am confident Carolyn will continue to effectively lead the UOPD,” Moffitt said, “and will continue to implement and refine community policing strategies to meet the unique public safety needs of our campus community.”

When not on the job, McDermed race walks with a women’s master group. She also enjoys reading, cooking, knitting and photography.

“I enjoy photography because pictures tell stories and Oregon has endless opportunities to find subjects that I want to photograph,” she said.

- by Matt Cooper, UO Office of Strategic Communications