Drexel's Vice President of Public Safety Domenic Ceccanecchio with the new Director of Police Operations Eileen Behr (Photo credit: Emma Cardwell)
Former Montgomery County Sheriff Eileen Behr officially started her tenure on Jan. 7 as Drexel University’s director of Police Operations.
“I am proud to welcome Eileen to Drexel and look forward to working with such a strong leader who will bring fresh ideas and move the Drexel Police Department forward,” said Drexel’s Vice President for Public Safety Domenic Ceccanecchio.
Behr has served law enforcement for more than 37 years. She was appointed to fill the position of sheriff of Montgomery County Sheriff in May 2011 and was the first woman to hold the position. She is credited with revamping the Montgomery County Police Department’s emergency response team.
Returning to the streets and working more hands-on with the students and the community is what drew her to Drexel.
“Drexel University is a rapidly growing community offering students and the neighboring community vast opportunities for education, cultural experience and recreational activities,” said Behr. “I am excited to work with University leaders to ensure the safety of our campus, and to promote positive relationships between the police and the community.”
From 1976 to March 2011, Behr was a member of the Whitemarsh Township Police Department, Montgomery County, Pa. She started her career as a police dispatcher. Over the next 34 years, Behr worked in various divisions and specialized areas, including the Traffic and Accident Unit, detectives, Juvenile Division and serving as a negotiator for the tactical team. In 2003, she was appointed chief of the department.
In addition to duties as chief of police, she was the assistant emergency management director and a member of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force. Under her command, the Whitemarsh Police Department became a fully accredited police agency and the department started their first K-9 unit and first motorcycle unit.
The Drexel University Police Department is composed of 38 full-time sworn municipal police officers certified through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) with law enforcement authority at Drexel University's three campuses (University City Main Campus, Center City Hahnemann Campus, and Queen Lane Medical Campus).
In November 2011, the Drexel University Police Department received International Accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The Drexel University Police Department is one of 51 universities nationwide, the second university in Pennsylvania and one of 10 police departments out of over 1,100 in Pennsylvania to obtain this recognition. Drexel is the only university in the world with both police and communications center accreditations.