david pletz

David C. Pletz, who has served on the Penn College Police force since 1997, has been appointed chief of police and director of campus safety, succeeding Chris E. Miller, who is retiring.

Williamsport, Pa. — A new chief will assume a role held by Chris E. Miller for the past 21 years. 

On June 1, Miller will retire as Pennsylvania College of Technology's campus chief of police and director of campus safety, and David C. Pletz will take over his position.

Pletz has served on the Penn College Police force since 1997, has been a lieutenant since 2018, and as chief, he will oversee a department of 13 police officers and two support staff.

“Lt. Pletz is well-suited to assume the responsibilities for this significant role,” College 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 September 28, he responded to a 9-1-1 dispatch for a disturbance involving an armed suspect on Vine Avenue, just north of campus. He was on the scene in less than a minute and immediately engaged the suspect, who fired multiple rounds at him with a handgun.

Pletz took cover behind his vehicle and radioed a description of the suspect, where the suspect was heading, and then pursued him in his vehicle. The suspect was taken into custody shortly after by Chief Miller.

In February, Pletz was awarded a Pennsylvania Senate Citation for the same incident.

Related reading: Penn College police officer earns State Senate award for heroism during shooting

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