Longtime Penn College Police officer named chief
David C. Pletz has been appointed chief of police and director of campus safety at Pennsylvania College of Technology, effective June 1.
Pletz, who has served on the Penn College Police force since 1997, and as lieutenant since 2018, will oversee a department of 13 police officers and two support staff.
He succeeds Chris E. Miller, who is retiring after 21 years as the college’s police chief.
“Lt. Pletz is well-suited to assume the responsibilities for this significant role,” President Michael J. Reed said. “His experience, vision, qualifications, temperament, community focus, and knowledge of college policing distinguish him. I look forward to working closely with Dave to ensure that our campus remains vibrant, engaging and safe for all students, employees and campus visitors.”
In the position, Pletz will supervise the police department and direct all security programs for the college community, facilities and properties. He will also plan and direct disaster response and crisis management activities, provide disaster preparedness training, and prepare plans and guidelines for crisis situations.
“Student Affairs and the entirety of Penn College is fortunate to have Lt. Pletz elevate to serve as chief of police and director of campus safety,” said Jennifer McLean, dean of students. “His law enforcement experience, understanding of incident command and emergency operations, and philosophy on college policing are perfectly aligned with Penn College’s core values and are exactly what we were hoping to find when we began this search. He has the respect of his officers and the entire campus, as well that of the surrounding community.”
Pletz was hired as a police officer for the college in July 1997. He was promoted to sergeant in October 1999 and lieutenant in March 2018. He has also been employed as a special county detective with the Lycoming County DUI Center since September 2019.
He received his ACT 120 Municipal Police Academy training and certification through Mansfield University.
Pletz’s response to an off-campus incident in September 2022 resulted in him being awarded a Silver Star for Bravery by The National Association of Chiefs of Police.
On Sept. 28, when Pletz responded to a 911 dispatch for a disturbance involving a gun on Vine Avenue, just north of campus, he was on scene in less than 60 seconds and immediately engaged the suspect, who fired multiple rounds at him from a handgun. Taking cover behind his police vehicle, Pletz radioed out a description of the suspect and where he was headed, and then pursued him in his vehicle. The suspect was taken into custody a brief time later by Chief Miller.
In February, Pletz was awarded a Pennsylvania Senate Citation for the same incident.
For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free at 800-367-9222.