Santa Monica College appointed Johnnie Adams as chief of the Santa Monica College Police Department (SMCPD). Adams was sworn in at the SMC Board of Trustees meeting on March 1.
He most recently served as deputy chief of operations at the University of Southern California (USC) Department of Public Safety.
“I am honored to be the new chief of police at the Santa Monica College Police Department,” said Adams, who brings 32 years of law enforcement experience to the job. “Working with a premier group of professionals to ensure the safety of the campus community will be my top priority, and I am truly blessed to be a member of the SMC family.”
As police chief, Adams will oversee SMC’s campus safety, law enforcement, parking, and emergency preparedness operations on its main campus at 1900 Pico Blvd., as well as on its various satellite campuses throughout Santa Monica. Adams steps into the position left vacant by the departure of Albert Vasquez, former SMCPD chief.
“Santa Monica College is thrilled to welcome Chief Johnnie Adams,” said SMC President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery. “I am confident that his leadership and breadth of experience will add to the exceptional team of officers and personnel who are already here at the SMC Police Department, and that he will to continue to uphold what is most important to us: the safety and wellbeing of our students and employees.”
As deputy chief of operations at USC, Adams oversaw the operations bureau – encompassing patrol, detective, and special events – and supervised approximately 200 employees at its University Park and Health Sciences campuses.
Adams began his career in 1983 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a student community service officer at the UCLA Police Department. After graduating from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, he attended the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy and then began working in UCLA’s patrol division. During his 29-year career at UCLA, Adams was promoted to sergeant, lieutenant, and subsequently captain. As a captain, he oversaw the UCLA Police Department’s support, and field operations bureaus.
In addition to a BA in Political Science, Adams holds an executive management certificate from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Associates (FBINAA).
Adams currently serves on the National Executive Board of the FBINAA and is a past president of the FBINAA California Chapter. Adams was honored with the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) Merit Award in 2012.
Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).