OU Names New Chief of Police

Mike Seals - September 13, 2020 10:53 pm

NORMAN, OKLA. – A decorated law enforcement veteran with more than four decades of experience, Nate Tarver has been named chief of police for the University of Oklahoma, pending OU Board of Regents’ approval.

Tarver, who has served as the chief of police at the OU Health Sciences Center since 2017, will take on an expanded role as associate vice president and university-wide police chief, overseeing the police departments on OU’s campuses in Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

“Over the past 18 months, I have worked closely with our three police departments across the University of Oklahoma system,” said OU Vice President for University Operations Eric Conrad. “As we have worked on consolidating best practices in policing, training and HR policies, it became clear that the OU community would be best served by a senior leader overseeing all of our police departments.”

With Tarver balancing his time between OU’s three campuses, the top OUPD officials reporting to Tarver on each campus will be Kent Ray in Norman, Terry Schofield at the Health Sciences Center and Walt Evans at OU-Tulsa.

“With more than 40 years of law enforcement experience, Chief Tarver is highly respected throughout the OU community and among his law enforcement peers across the state,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “We are confident that in his elevated role, he will continue serving the university with dedication, integrity and selflessness.”

Tarver began his career in 1979 with the Moore Police Department. During his 10 years with Moore PD, he developed the city’s public school liaison program, a precursor to school resource officer programs. After attaining the rank of sergeant, Tarver joined the Oklahoma City Police Department, where he served 26 years in a variety of positions, including patrol officer, undercover narcotics investigations, gang enforcement, shift commander and public information officer.

During his career with OCPD, he was involved in numerous high-profile incidents, including the Oklahoma City bombing and several tornados, including the powerful storms that hit the metro area in 1999 and 2013.

Rising through the ranks at OCPD, Tarver retired from the department in 2015 at the rank of captain. He then joined the OU Health Sciences Center as deputy chief of police in August 2015 and was named chief of police at OUHSC in January 2017 – a department comprised of 44 certified police officers, 15 security officers and 10 support staff.

Over the course of his career, Tarver has garnered many accolades, including numerous letters of commendations and awards, as well as being inducted into the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Hall of Fame.

Born and raised in Tulsa, Tarver earned his bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from OU and a master’s degree in criminal justice management and administration from the University of Central Oklahoma.


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