UW Police

Office of the Chief

Chief of Police John N. Vinson, Ph.D. - vinso1jn@uw.edu - 206.543.0521
Chief John Vinson, Ph.D.

John N. Vinson, Ph.D., Chief of Police

Assistant Vice-President for Student Life/Chief of Police John Vinson has led the CALEA Accredited University of Washington Police Department (UWPD) as Chief of Police since February 2009. The UWPD provides comprehensive public safety and police services to a campus daytime population of 72,000. Under Chief Vinson’s leadership, the UWPD has developed and implemented strategic initiatives in community policing, organizational efficiency and proactive policing strategies.

With over 23 years of law enforcement experience, Chief Vinson holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Western Michigan University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. Along with his extensive varied law enforcement experiences, Dr. Vinson is an adjunct faculty member teaching leadership and management courses in the Master’s of Public Administration Program for Central Michigan University. He is also currently an adjunct faculty at Seattle University, and has instructed courses at Western Michigan University, Kirtland Community College and Montcalm Community College. As a member of Seattle University adjunct faculty, Dr. Vinson was one of the co-investigators on a research project titled “Evaluation of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s “Warriors to Guardians” Cultural Shift and Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training. He and other members of the research team presented their findings at an International Conference in Vienna, Austria in July 2015 and additional findings in Prague, Czech Republic in July 2017.

Dr. Vinson is also invited to speak on aspects of policing, leadership and diversity. In 2009, he went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to facilitate a three-day Scenario Based Leadership Development Master Class. In 2010, he participated in the first ever “national curriculum” that focused on a multidisciplinary approach to threat assessment in higher education. In 2013, he participated in a National Law Enforcement Partnership discussion on Capitol Hill to Prevent Gun Violence. In May 2014, he was invited to speak at Peking University in Beijing, China. In May 2015, Chief Vinson went to Detroit to serve as co-emcee for a national firearms summit, which focused on preventing domestic violence related homicides. In August 2015, he returned to DC to the Department of Justice to participate in a national roundtable discussion on Reducing Gender Bias in Policing.

Dr. Vinson has conducted numerous leadership and related law enforcement seminars and workshops for management, supervisory, support staff and customer service employees. Other experience includes being directly responsible for and working with other public and private agencies in the areas of strategic planning, organizational analysis and efficiency studies, leadership development, team building and change facilitation.

Chief Vinson’s professional affiliations include active membership in the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC), and the King County Police Chief’s Association (KCPCA). He is currently the General Chair of the IACP University and College Police Section, which serves on the board of directors for the IACP. He is also on the executive board for IACLEA, serving as the Director at Large.

You can reach Chief Vinson at his office at 206.543.0521, on the go at 206.406.7995, or online via email vinso1jn@uw.edu or on Twitter @UW_PoliceChief!