December 05, 2003

SIUC police chief retiring Dec. 31

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Samuel L. Jordan, director of Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Department of Public Safety for the last 11 years, is retiring Dec. 31.

Robert H. York, SIUC's executive director of human relations and support, said he expects to have an interim director in place by the end of the month. The University will conduct a national search for Jordan's permanent replacement.

Jordan, 49, became director of public safety in December 1992. The West Frankfort native spent the previous 12 years with the University of Illinois' police department.

Jordan submitted his retirement letter earlier this week.

"I think the chief has been very effective," York said. "I think he has tried to put the interest of the University at the forefront. I think he has done an excellent job in complying with the policies as the University has stated them. I think he has been effective."

Jordan's decision was not a total surprise to York.

"He was just ready to do other things," York said. "Sam is able to retire from the university system. He's still a young man with a lot of interests to pursue and he's looking forward to the opportunity to pursue them. That is what he has conveyed to me."

Jordan said he will remain in the area and consider teaching opportunities at the university and college levels, as well as law enforcement training and work in the private sector. He will teach an administration of justice course next semester at SIUC.

"I have been doing this for a while and I think it is time to do something else," he said. "I enjoyed working with the people at SIUC. It has been a privilege to work with everyone associated with the University, and especially those with the Department of Public Safety."

While at the University, Jordan initiated a field training officer program and a crime prevention unit, and resurrected the tactical response and negotiations team. SIUC and Carbondale police also now collaborate on an explosives disposal unit. He also helped revitalize the University's disaster preparedness program.

York will gather input from public safety department personnel before naming an interim chief.

"I do intend to engage a number of people in conversation and get their feedback, their input, into what they think an appropriate action would be for the interim," he said.

The department has 37 active sworn officers and 17 office staff, which includes parking division employees.

A timeline for the national search is not yet in place.

Jordan started his law enforcement career in 1974 as a patrolman for John A. Logan College's campus police. He was an officer with the West Frankfort police department from 1974 to 1977, and a detective with the Williamson County Sheriff's Department from 1977 to 1980.

Jordan earned a bachelor's degree in administration of justice from SIUC in 1977 and a master's degree in education in 1998, also from SIUC. He earned an associate's degree from John A. Logan College in 1974.