McDuffie Cummings Jr. has been named director of the 16-member Police and Public Safety Department at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
A 15-year veteran of campus law enforcement and a UNCP graduate, Cummings was promoted from lieutenant, a rank he has held since 2002.
Chief Cummings, a Pembroke, N.C., native, has broad experience in law enforcement and training. He also has deep roots in the community, where he serves as Chief of the Pembroke Volunteer Fire Department.
Chief Cummings begins his new duties on July 1 and reports to Neil Hawk, vice chancellor for Business Affairs.
“I look forward to working with McDuffie and expect his experience will be a huge asset and will provide for a smooth transition in leadership,” Hawk said. “I know Chief Cummings will work hard to ensure that UNCP continues to be a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff.”
Chief Cummings said he takes over a solid department.
“This is an excellent group of people with a high level of training and considerable experience,” he said. “They are a dedicated and hard working group who truly enjoy what they do.”
Chief Cummings worked his way through the ranks beginning in 1993 as an officer and making sergeant in 1997. His resume includes assisting in writing the curriculum for the “campus policing” block of instruction for the North Carolina Basic Law Enforcement Training Certification program.
Besides responsibilities in training, supervision and investigations, Chief Cummings helped to develop programs for community policing, emergency planning and human resource issues. He also worked closely with campus judiciary and as a policy maker for student activities.
“This is a great opportunity to work at the level I have trained for,” Chief Cummings said. “I am fully knowledgeable of the resources available to the department here on campus and in the community.
“I am optimistic for a smooth transition from lieutenant into the leadership role,” he continued.
Top on his list of goals for the department is implementing community policing tactics on campus.
“When I started at the University, I knew most of the students by name, and they knew me,” Chief Cummings said. “I would like to see officers accessible to students, faculty and staff in residence halls, meetings and classrooms.”
Technology is also a priority for the new chief.
“The implementation of new law enforcement and training technologies builds efficiencies and effective law enforcement,” Chief Cummings said. “My role is to ensure that officers are trained and equipped to provide the quality of service that is expected by the students, faculty and staff that is unmatched by any law enforcement agency.”
The bottom line Chief Cummings said is “not policing one of the safest campuses but the safest in the UNC system.”
Chief Cummings earned a Bachelor of Science degree from UNCP in criminal justice in 1992. He did Basic Law Enforcement training at Robeson Community College, where he also completed First Line Supervision and Field Training Officer certification.
A member of the Pembroke Fire Department since 1986, Cummings became its chief in 2002. Along with planning and budgeting responsibilities, he is responsible for the training and certification of 35 volunteers in all areas of firefighting, first responder, HAZMAT and disaster preparedness skills.