search button
newscenter logo
Saturday, December 2, 2023

Follow SDSU Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook SDSU RSS Feed

Gregory L. Murphy, now permanently appointed, has led the University Police Department as Interim Chief of Police since August 2022. (SDSU) Gregory L. Murphy, now permanently appointed, has led the University Police Department as Interim Chief of Police since August 2022. (SDSU)

Gregory L. Murphy Sworn In As SDSU's Chief of Police

The new chief values partnerships on- and off-campus, and a student voice in developing solutions.
By Raquel Herriott

Gregory L. Murphy, whose long involvement in public safety at college campuses includes positions in all three systems of California higher education, has been sworn in as Chief of the San Diego State University Police Department (UPD). 


Murphy was sworn in as chief at a ceremony on June 13 after serving in the position as interim chief since August 2022. 


“As our chief, he combines deep law-enforcement experience with a rich, decadeslong understanding of the education environment and the intersection of policing with a healthy, safe campus community,” SDSU President Adela de la Torre said at the event. “We are lucky to have him as part of our SDSU leadership team. “


Josh Mays, associate vice president of Safety and Community Empowerment, said that under Murphy’s leadership, UPD has continued to enhance its partnerships with local and state law enforcement partners while also leading on-campus police efforts and special event operations to over 115 events at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre, Viejas Arena, Snapdragon Stadium and other university venues. 


“With his exceptional leadership skills, experience and commitment to ensuring the safety and security of the university community, Chief Murphy is the ideal candidate for this important role,” Mays said. “Since joining SDSU, he has truly embodied the core values of a compassionate leader.”


In pursuit of advancing the department’s public safety initiatives and cultivating a climate of care and belonging, Murphy’s policing and safety philosophy is based on what he refers to as the six Es of public safety: Environment, Engagement, Education, Enforcement, Empowerment, and Empathy. 


“The six Es are a holistic approach to promoting a safe and secure environment for our campus community,” Murphy said, adding that each “E” is a necessary component for establishing strong relationships and sustaining community dialogue. Specifically, his approach calls for:


  • Environment: Utilizing personnel, policies and technology to promote the safety, well-being and security for all. 
  • Engagement: Working together with our community, stakeholders and law enforcement partners to build trust. 
  • Enforcement: Applying laws and policies to protect life and property.
  • Education: Exchanging information to bring awareness of safety topics and critical incidents. 
  • Empowerment: Providing community members with information and resources so that they can confidently contribute to their own safety and security. 
  • Empathy: Fostering compassion and maintaining understanding of diverse perspectives.


In addition to implementing the six Es, Murphy plans to expand the student Community Service Officer Program and enhance student work opportunities within the police department. 


“Our goal is to support the success of our students,” Murphy said. “We must remain committed to listening to student voices and share in processes that promote safety-related solutions.” 


Murphy began his law enforcement career with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). During his time at LAPD, he specialized in street gang enforcement and criminal gang activity suppression. Murphy also made significant contributions to help establish the LAPD’s data warehouse for collecting, tracking and reporting use-of-force incidents, preventable collisions, community complaints and lawsuits.


Following his career at LAPD, Murphy joined the police department at the University of California Davis. He then became a regional manager for the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards Training (POST) in Sacramento, where he trained and consulted over 200 California police agencies.


Murphy returned to higher education uniformed public safety after working in managerial positions for POST. Throughout his career, Murphy has served as chief of police across all three of California’s institutions of higher education: the California Community College, California State University and University of California (UC) systems. He is a former acting chief of police for the University of California San Diego, where he collaborated with the other eight UC campus police chiefs to implement elements of police reform within the UC system.


Murphy holds a master’s degree in information technology and a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He also continues to serve as a lecturer for the University of Virginia’s Master’s in Public Safety program and the Sierra Community College District’s Administration of Justice program. Murphy's research includes studies on principled policing, police use of force and community policing.