Law enforcement veteran Lauretta Hill to lead USC Department of Public Safety

Lauretta Hill

The new DPS leader has been chief of police at Dallas College — one of the largest community colleges in Texas, with nearly 75,000 undergraduate students — for six years.

Lauretta Hill, a law enforcement veteran with nearly three decades of experience in public safety, has been named assistant vice president/chief at the USC Department of Public Safety.

Hill comes to USC from the Dallas College Police Department, where she has been chief of police for six years. There, she combined seven separate police departments into one functional police agency, developed new policies and hired new staff to align with the priorities of one of the largest community colleges in Texas, with nearly 75,000 undergraduate students. The changes resulted in consistency in operations across the seven campuses in the college system and enhanced accountability and transparency by the department to the students, faculty, staff and community stakeholders.

“She is a team builder and transformational leader,” Erroll Southers, USC associate senior vice president, safety and risk assurance, wrote in an email to the university community. The search committee was impressed with her work at Dallas College, said Southers, who noted that Hill’s inclusive philosophy aligns with the ONE USC Safety Vision, developed by the DPS Community Advisory Board.

“She understands that our community members come from diverse backgrounds and experiences and brings years of community policing experience to help us achieve our goal of having all students, faculty, staff and neighbors feel respected and safe,” Southers said.

Prior to leading the Dallas College Police Department, Hill served as deputy chief at the Miami Beach Police Department in Florida and assistant chief at the Arlington Police Department in Texas.

New USC DPS chief sees ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity

“I’m so excited,” Hill said. “You see some positions and you go, ‘Man, that would be great — what an opportunity.’ When you see those, you know they’re once in a lifetime.”

Hill said she is especially eager to help the department through a time when some are questioning the role of law enforcement in society.

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