Margo Bennett sworn in as UC Berkeley police chief

Robert Birgeneau, Margo Bennett

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau swears in Margo Bennett as UC Berkeley police chief. (NewsCenter photo by Jean Smith)

A beaming Margo Bennett was sworn in Tuesday as UC Berkeley’s new police chief.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau performed the honors. A University of California Police Department captain with more than 35 years of law enforcement experience, Bennett had served as interim police chief since former chief Mitch Celaya retired Dec. 30. Both Celaya and former Chief Victoria Harrison were on hand to congratulate Bennett.

When her selection was announced in April, Bennett said she was honored to have been chosen. She added: “We have a highly skilled and dedicated police force at UC Berkeley, and I am committed to moving us to a higher level, where excellent service develops trusting relationships across the campus. It’s not just ‘doing our job’ that counts. It’s the ‘how we do our job’ that speaks volumes about us as individuals and as UCPD.”

Bennett earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology/criminal justice and a master’s in counseling psychology at at West Georgia University, then rose to the level of lieutenant there before moving to the FBI, where she worked for more than a decade. From there, she went to Northern Virginia Community College Police Department, where she became police chief for the multi-campus educational institution, the nation’s second-largest community college. Bennett joined the UCPD as a captain in 2002.

As chief, she will manage UCPD’s 149 employees, including 66 sworn officers.