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A Black man with gray hair wears a police uniform.
OSU Police Chief Leon Jones.

OSU police chief announces retirement

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Media Contact: Shannon Rigsby | Associate Director of Public Information | 405-744-9081 |

After nearly 30 years on the job, Oklahoma State University Police Chief Leon Jones has announced his impending retirement. His last day with the OSUPD will be July 31. 

Jones got his start with the department in October 1994 — his first job as a law enforcement officer. He worked his way up, becoming chief of police in 2017. As a patrolman, Jones was asked to start the first community policing program on campus, as well as the bike patrol program, which took officers out of patrol cars and made them visible and accessible. 

Since becoming chief, he’s started the Core Campus Patrol Division, which puts officers on foot and bicycles in the most populated areas of campus during peak hours — locations hard to access by car like the Student Union and Edmon Low Library. OSUPD also has implemented the liaison program, which pairs officers with athletic teams and student groups.

Jones never expected to be a police officer, let alone one with 30 years under his belt. 

“I didn’t think I would be at OSU for more than 20 years — but looking back and coming up on 30 years — I feel like I’ve done my part,” Jones said. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s time for someone else to have the opportunity to step up and run this great department I’ve been in charge of for the past eight years.” 

OSU President Kayse Shrum said Jones has served an important role with the campus community. 

“It has been a privilege to work with Chief Jones. He has a servant’s heart and I personally know of instances where he has gone above and beyond to meet the needs of students,” she said. “He embodies the Cowboy Code, always willing to stand for what’s right. Over the course of his career, he has made campus a better place.”

After retirement, Jones plans to turn his knowledge in criminal justice and law enforcement into a teaching position with Meridian Technology Center for fall 2024. Until then, he wants to make sure he’s leaving the OSUPD in a good place. 

“I want to make sure the place is ready to go for the next person,” he said. “I want to make sure it’s still running smoothly and is set for success.” 

Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Joe Weaver said Jones’ shoes will be hard to fill. 

“It’s not often when you have someone who starts in an entry-level position and grows professionally to lead a department,” Weaver said. “Chief Jones has been a leader in so many ways, particularly with community policing. He has been a blessing to Oklahoma State University.” 

Jones said in an interview last year that he “didn’t know who he was until he got to OSU.” His hope is to express his thanks to the university that took him in and gave him a foundation for success for one more time. 

“It has been a great career,” he said. “I just hope I made everybody proud.”

An external search will be conducted to find Chief Jones’ successor. 

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