Meet the New Chief of Police & Director of Public Safety

Cleveland L. Spruill, Sr.

Cleveland L. Spruill, Sr. Chief Cleveland L. Spruill Sr. joins the University of the District of Columbia as Police Chief and Director of the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management.

Chief Spruill is a seasoned law enforcement executive who brings more than 35 years of experience to his new role.  Most notably, Chief Spruill served for eight years as Deputy Police Chief in Alexandria, Virginia, nearly five years as Police Chief in Huntersville, North Carolina, and more than three years as Police Chief in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia. During his tenure in Athens-Clarke County, Chief Spruill worked closely with University of Georgia staff and faculty, ensuring Cleary Act compliance, implementing crime strategies to ensure the safety and security of students and faculty, and developing and implementing operational plans for traffic management, crowd control, and event security during UGA football games and other large-scale university-related events.

Throughout his expansive career in law enforcement, Chief Spruill gained experience in all aspects of policing, overseeing staffs of more than 425 employees (320 sworn) and managing police budgets of more than $58 million.  Chief Spruill has served as a Community Policing subject matter expert for the Federal Bureau of Investigations and at their request, traveled to France in 2006 to present to French government officials and criminal justice system partners on the topic of Community Oriented Policing and to advise on strategies to improve relations between police and the minority community. Chief Spruill is also recognized for his expertise on immigration issues and has appeared on Capitol Hill before a US Senate subcommittee to speak against enforcement of 287(g) by local law enforcement agencies.

Chief Spruill served on numerous law enforcement and community initiatives aimed at criminal justice reform.  As a member of the Mecklenburg County Safety & Justice Committee and while serving as co-chair on the Racial and Ethnic Disparity sub-committee, he led collaborative efforts to partner with the MacArthur Foundation and with researchers from the W. Haywood Burns Institute to analyze disproportionality and disparity at each level of the criminal justice system (arrest, filing of charges, and booking into jail, etc.). This working group also partnered with the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) to create comprehensive Implicit Bias training for criminal justice professionals.

Chief Spruill earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Johns Hopkins University, is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy and completed the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police.

He is a law enforcement practitioner equipped to address the unique challenges of policing in and around urban campus communities.

Chief Spruill will lead the Office of Public Safety & Emergency Management (OPSEM) in his new role.

  • The Chief of Police will serve as the chief law enforcement officer of OPSEM with responsibility for protecting life and property, preserving peace, maintaining order, and directing the enforcement of all federal, state, and local laws within the jurisdiction of the University.
  • The chief will be responsible for developing strategic goals and objectives for OPSEM and the UDC Police Department, including positioning the department as a responsive department that is recognized as committed to the safety and care of our diverse university community members.
  • Chief Spruill will provide direction and guidance in alignment with the University’s mission and values. He will develop the framework by which all security activities, patrol details, and daily operations are executed.

Please welcome our new Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety, Cleveland L. Spruill, Sr.