Vice President for Public Safety
Chief of Penn Police at the University of Pennsylvania
Maureen S. Rush is the Vice President for Public Safety and Superintendent of the Penn Police Department. Ms. Rush joined the Division of Public Safety in 1994 as the Director of Victim Support & Special Services. Ms. Rush then served as the Chief of the Penn Police Department from 1996 through 2000. She was appointed Vice President for Public Safety at the University of Pennsylvania in 2000. As the CEO of the agency her duties include directing the tactical and strategic focus of the Division of Public Safety and all aspects of Law Enforcement, Safety and Security Technology, and Emergency Preparedness. She is responsible for managing a budget of over $33 million dollars and encompassing eight departments totaling 178 Penn employees. The Division of Public Safety is responsible for all Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Planning for the University.
During her tenure the Penn’s Police Department evolved into a model campus law enforcement agency, continually meeting the challenges faced by an urban university, while at the same time strengthening its relationships with the Penn and West Philadelphia communities, and with the City of Philadelphia. With 117 police officers, the Penn Police Department is the largest private police department in the state of Pennsylvania. In March 2001, the Penn Police Department was awarded national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), thereby, becoming the first nationally accredited campus police agency within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Most recently, Ms. Rush received the Egon Bittner Award for Excellence in Leadership of a CALEA Accredited Law Enforcement Agency for 15 consecutive years.
Prior to coming to the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Rush had a distinguished eighteen-year law enforcement career with the Philadelphia Police Department from 1976 through 1994. Ms. Rush served in various positions, namely: the Patrol Division, the Anti-Crime Unit, the Narcotics Unit, and the Training Bureau. In 1976, Ms. Rush was one of the first 100 women police officers hired to serve the City of Philadelphia on “street patrol” in a pilot program directed by the United States Department of Justice. Women now comprise twenty-five percent of the Philadelphia Police Department, with approximately 1,650 officers, as a result of that successful pilot program.
Under Ms. Rush's leadership, the University of Pennsylvania's Division of Public Safety was recognized as the number one institution in the Higher Education vertical market, as ranked by Security Magazine's Security 500 Survey for 10 years in a row.
Ms. Rush serves on numerous cabinet level committees and task forces with the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Rush Co-Chaired the Public Safety Policy Group for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney in November, 2015 and is the President of the Philadelphia Police Foundation since 2008, a 501C3 organization that supports the needs of the Philadelphia Police Department.
Ms. Rush holds a M.S. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Organizational Dynamics. She has also completed the John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Northwestern School of Staff & Command and the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Program. In 2004, Ms. Rush completed a year-long program with Philadelphia Leadership, Inc. a regional leadership think tank and during the same year, earned a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) certification from the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) International Professional Certification Board. In 2009 Ms. Rush completed a Security Executive certification program sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). Ms. Rush is a Fellow with the University of Pennsylvania’s Fox Leadership Program within the School of Arts and Sciences.