UNC police chief Jeff McCracken is retiring come July 1, the university announced today. 

McCracken also serves as director of public safety for the Chapel Hill campus, He joined the UNC police department in 1993, working his way up the ranks to chief in 2007. 

Jeff has worked tirelessly to maintain a safe campus environment. Respected not only by his police force, he is highly regarded by peers in law enforcement at all levels of government,” Robert A. Blouin, UNC provost and executive vice chancellor, and Jonathan Pruitt, vice chancellor for finance and operations, said in a statement.

McCracken’s departure comes at the end of a tumultuous academic year at UNC that also saw the resignation of UNC Chancellor Carol Folt and UNC system president Margaret Spellings. The year began, like the previous year, with protests against the Confederate statue known as Silent Sam, which was pulled down by a crowd in August. Folt authorized the removal of the base of the statue as well prior to her departure in January.

As the spring semester draws to a close, UNC is grappling with sometimes armed neo-Confederate groups coming to campus. Two people affiliated with the Heirs to the Confederacy were recently charged with vandalizing the Unsung Founders memorial on UNC campus, which honors people of color who built the university.

Through the protests, the response by UNC police and other assisting agencies has been criticized. In 2017, anti-racist protesters discovered that an undercover officer had been monitoring them. An after-action report on the night Silent Sam was toppled found “serious deficiencies” in how UNC police handled the event. The assessment, by a law firm, echoed some of the same conclusions as a report compiled by security experts the university contracted to help formulate its plan for the monument’s disposition, warning that on-campus protests are becoming more volatile. 

According to the statement from Blouin and Pruitt, McCracken helped establish the Alerta Carolina emergency alert system as well as emergency preparedness exercises. University officials say a national search for a new chief will begin immediately. 

One reply on “UNC Police Chief Retiring After Tumultous Year on Chapel Hill Campus”

  1. What Bob & Jon meant to say was:
    “Jeff has worked tirelessly to maintain a campus where:
    – Grown men are allowed to make death threats against students free of consequence.
    – Police are allowed to beat-up, tackle, mace, taser, or otherwise brutalize non-violent student activists (many of them young women).
    – Canned food drives organized by students have been greeted with confiscation of said goods and the flipping of the tables they were being collected on.
    – Neo-Confederates who commit racist, threatening vandalism aren’t trespassed from parts of campus, but non-violent student activists are.
    – Neo-Confederates are able to walk around campus armed, with a friendly warning and no criminal charges. “

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