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Purdue police chief selected as Director of Grounds

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue police Chief Gary Evans is leaving his position of four years to become director of grounds for Purdue Physical Facilities, and John Cox has been named interim police chief, university officials announced Friday (April 25).

Evans, who has spent 24 years in law enforcement, became Purdue’s police chief in March 2004 after 16 years with the Valparaiso (Ind.) Police Department. He will assume his new duties May 1.

He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1984-88. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind., and a master’s degree from Valparaiso (Ind.) University.

“I have truly enjoyed my four years as Purdue’s police chief and will miss the people at the police department,” Evans said. “I have never worked with a better group of people.

“I also am excited about the opportunities this move presents and am looking forward to working with the dedicated staff who do an excellent job at Grounds. I believe in the benefits of helping increase sustainability at Purdue and hope to continue building upon the university’s recycling and sustainability efforts.”

As director of grounds, Evans will report to senior director for buildings and grounds Martha May and develop organizational and operational policies, procedures and goals for the department. He will evaluate new construction, landscaping and irrigation systems and oversee the department refuse, recycling and topsoil programs on campus, among other duties.

“Maintaining and improving campus grounds is an important goal for Purdue, and our search process confirmed that Gary is the best person to lead this department,” May said. “He has strong leadership and management skills as evidenced by the police department’s many accomplishments during his years as chief.”

Carol Shelby, senior director of Environmental Health and Public Safety, said Evans leaves the police department in good shape.

“I’m sorry to see Gary leave his career in law enforcement services, but he’s built a strong foundation in the department, and we will be able to provide a seamless transition,” said Carol Shelby, senior director for Environmental Health and Public Safety.

Cox, captain of special services, has been with the Purdue Police Department the last eight years and has been in law enforcement more than 20 years. He also is the Benton County coroner and vice president of the Indiana Coroners Association. He had worked 13 years as an evidence technician for the West Lafayette Police Department before coming to Purdue, where he started as a patrol officer and moved through the ranks of sergeant and lieutenant to captain.

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