Two parked NEIU Police Department vehicles

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Northeastern Illinois University has hired Chicago Police Department First Deputy Superintendent John Escalante as its next Chief of Police, effective Sept. 7, 2016.

Escalante will retire from the Chicago Police Department after 30 years with the department. He started as a patrolman in 1986 and worked all the way to the top, serving as interim superintendent from Dec. 1, 2015, to March 28, 2016.

“John Escalante has a national reputation in the field of law enforcement for his experience, integrity and leadership,” Northeastern Illinois University President Sharon Hahs said. “We welcome him to the Northeastern Illinois University community as we work together to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our students, faculty and staff.”

The position was posted nationally, and Northeastern received more than 140 applications. ​A nine-member ​search committee conducted preliminary interviews with 10 applicants and invited four finalists to the University. The all-day finalist ​interviews included a question-and-answer ​session open to all faculty, staff and students, plus meetings with the search committee, police officers​ and dispatchers, upper-level administrators, the Behavioral Concerns Team, and the Emergency Management Team. Everyone who attended ha​d​ the opportunity to provide feedback about the finalists.

Escalante replaces James Lyon, who departed in March 2016 after more than 10 years at Northeastern to become Director of Public Safety at Augusta University in Georgia.

John Escalante