A headshot of Katherine Perez, the new chief of Georgetown University Police Department
Category: University News

Title: Georgetown Appoints First Female Police Chief of GUPD

As the university’s first female police chief, Perez will oversee all GUPD staff, programs and services to create a safe and secure environment for students, faculty and staff. GUPD provides security and police services on the university’s main and medical center campuses, as well as on off campus properties. Its officers, who are a commissioned special police vested through the DC Metropolitan Police Department, patrol campus 24/7.

Perez most recently served as the assistant chief of police for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, one of three entities that serve the Federal Reserve System. She also led the Bowie Police Department as its first ever chief of police, served as chief of police for the City of District Heights, Maryland, and as police captain of the Hartford Police Department for 20 years.

“I am very excited about becoming part of the Georgetown community,” she says. “I am a 40-plus-year public servant who truly believes in partnerships. I have learned and experienced how truly amazing a group of dedicated and motivated people can be in a community, and I hope to bring that philosophy to Georgetown.”

Perez first became interested in policing at age 14, when she joined the Police Explorers program in her hometown of Hartford, Connecticut, which paired young adults interested in law enforcement with volunteer police officers.

It was a program that taught more than law enforcement, it taught kids life skills that would benefit them in any career. I knew then that I wanted to be just like them,” she said. Perez later created the same program at the Bowie Police Department, offering young adults the same hands-on training she received.

Perez also served four years in the Army National Guard, and obtained her bachelor’s and then master’s in political science and public administration from Trinity College while serving as captain of the Hartford Police Department. 

Learn more about Perez’s path to law enforcement, her plans for her new role and what she wants students to know about GUPD.

Q&A With Katherine Perez

What drew you to this role at Georgetown? 

I have to admit that the history and prestige of Georgetown University first drew my attention to the job announcement. The more I learned about the university, the more intrigued I became. I took several trips to the school to look around and observe, and I then applied. The hiring process was the most telling part of the journey. The more folks I met and spoke with, the more I wanted to be a part of the community at Georgetown. 

How will your previous experience inform your work at the university? 

While I believe there are unique differences between campus law enforcement and local, state and federal law enforcement, the basic goal of public safety is the same. My years in law enforcement allowed me to have an incredible cadre of partners at all levels of public safety, and it is through partnerships that law enforcement can truly be effective in the goal of keeping a community safe, informed and engaged. 

I am very eager to learn the nuances of campus public safety and listen to what works and how we can build upon the great work already being done by the men and women of GUPD.

What do you want students to know about the Georgetown Police Department, and what do you hope to accomplish in your role? 

I want them to know that the work that has been done thus far to be inclusive, transparent and present in the quest to keep the Georgetown campus safe and secure will continue and that we will work, together, to continue to be better through every interaction we have with each other. I hope to further GUPD’s work in the area of procedural justice and listen to and meet the needs of the various groups within this diverse community.

I look forward to meeting everyone. I look forward to us getting to know each other better and working together to keep Georgetown University a safe, secure and inclusive place to live, learn, work and visit for everyone.