Maureen S. Rush is the Vice President for Public Safety and Superintendent of the Penn Police Department. Ms. Rush joined the Division of Public Safety in 1994 as the Director of Victim Support & Special Services. Ms. Rush then served as the Chief of the Penn Police Department from 1996 through 2000. She was appointed Vice President for Public Safety at the University of Pennsylvania in 2000. As the CEO of the agency her duties include directing the tactical and strategic focus of the Division of Public Safety and all aspects of Law Enforcement, Safety and Security Technology, and Emergency Preparedness. She is responsible for managing a budget of over $27 million dollars and encompassing eight departments totaling 179 Penn employees. The departments include: The Office of the Vice President, the University of Pennsylvania Police Department, Security Technology, Emergency Communications, Fire & Emergency Services, Special Services, Security Services and Finance & Administration. The Division of Public Safety also employs approximately 550 AlliedBarton contract security officers to secure buildings, student residences and supplement the Penn Police Department on street patrol within the Penn Police patrol jurisdiction. The Division of Public Safety is responsible for all Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Planning for the University.
During her tenure the Penn’s Police Department evolved into a model campus law enforcement agency, continually meeting the challenges faced by an urban university, while at the same time strengthening its relationships with the Penn and West Philadelphia communities, and with the City of Philadelphia. With 120 police officers, the Penn Police Department is the largest private police department in the state of Pennsylvania. In March 2001, the Penn Police Department was awarded national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), becoming the first nationally accredited campus police agency within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Penn Police Department remains accredited through CALEA, most recently being awarded ADVANCED Reaccreditation in April, 2016. CALEA administers a rigorous accreditation process whereby law enforcement agencies must adhere to over 440 standards, codes and state-of-the-art practices.
Prior to coming to the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Rush had a distinguished eighteen-year law enforcement career with the Philadelphia Police Department from 1976 through 1994. Ms. Rush served in various positions, namely: the Patrol Division, the Anti-Crime Unit, the Traffic Division, the Narcotics Unit, and the Training Bureau. In 1976, Ms. Rush was one of the first 100 women police officers hired to serve the City of Philadelphia on “street patrol” in a pilot program directed by the United States Department of Justice. Women now comprise twenty-five percent of the Philadelphia Police Department, with approximately 1,650 officers, as a result of that successful pilot program.
Ms. Rush has extensive knowledge of urban law enforcement and the interaction between a college campus and the community, and lectures nationally on this subject. The Division of Public Safety has become a national model for its successful Private/Public venture. Ms. Rush serves on numerous committees and task forces within the city and state, which address these key interests. In 1999, she served as a member of the City of Philadelphia’s Public Safety Transition Team, and continues to work closely with numerous City of Philadelphia agencies, most importantly the Philadelphia Police & Fire Departments. In 2002, Ms. Rush served on Governor Rendell’s Pennsylvania Homeland Security Transition Team. In November 2015, Ms. Rush was appointed co-chair to Mayor-Elect Jim Kenney’s Public Safety Policy transition team. Ms. Rush currently serves on the following Boards: President of the Philadelphia Police Foundation Board; Vice President of the University City Associates; Vice Chairman of the Philadelphia Police Athletic League Board; Secretary of the University City District; United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania; The Citizen’s Crime Commission; and Penn Vet Working Dog Center Advisory Board. Additionally, Ms. Rush serves on numerous committees within the University of Pennsylvania, such as the President’s Senior Planning Group and, University Council, as well as the Task Force on Student Psychological Health and Welfare, the Commission on Student Safety, Alcohol and Campus Life and the Task Force on a Safe and Responsible Campus Community.
Ms. Rush is a Fellow with the University of Pennsylvania’s Fox Leadership Program within the School of Arts and Sciences.
Since 2003 Ms. Rush has served as the Co-Chair for the University of Pennsylvania’s Annual Workplace Giving “Penn’s Way Campaign,” which raised over 1.66 Million dollars during the 2015 Campaign. The Campaign works with the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Center for Responsible Funding and Penn Medicine in providing funding for non-profit organizations serving the Philadelphia region.
Ms. Rush received numerous commendations from the Philadelphia Police Department and has received awards from the Chapel of the Four Chaplains, the Bryn Mawr Women’s Business Association, the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Take the Lead award, and the Black Men at Penn School of Social Work, Inc.
Under Ms. Rush’s leadership, the University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Public Safety was recognized as the number one institution in the Higher Education vertical market, as ranked by Security Magazine’s Security 500 Survey for 10 years in a row.
Ms. Rush holds a M.S. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Organizational Dynamics. She has also completed the John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Northwestern School of Staff & Command and the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Program. In 2004, Ms. Rush completed a year-long program with Philadelphia Leadership, Inc. a regional leadership think tank and during the same year, earned a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) certification from the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) International Professional Certification Board. In 2009 Ms. Rush completed a Security Executive certification program sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS).
Ms. Rush received Security Magazine’s “Most Influential People in Security” honor in September, 2015. Ms. Rush received the Egon Bittner Award for Excellence in Leadership of a CALEA Accredited Law Enforcement Agency for 15 consecutive years in April, 2016.