Elon University swears in new police chief
Dennis Franks formally assumed the top post of Elon University Campus Safety and Police in a June 15 afternoon ceremony.
Elon University swore in its new chief of Campus Safety and Police in a Friday afternoon ceremony attended by law enforcement officers, university administrators, and members of the chief’s family.
Dennis Franks took his oath shortly after 2 p.m. on June 15 in Johnston Hall on South Campus. The oath, administered by retiring campus police chief Chuck Gantos, was watched by dozens of guests, including Franks’ wife, Lyn, and young children, Elon University President Leo M. Lambert, and Senior Vice President Gerald Whittington, who oversees the police and campus safety office.
Lyn Franks pinned her husband's badge to his uniform following his oath. Franks is only the second person to hold the title of campus police chief in the university's history; Gantos was the first to do so.
“This has been a truly exciting process,” Franks said in brief remarks to the assembled crowd. “I think the Elon University environment is wonderful. The police officers and security officers of this department are top-notch in my book. … I look forward to doing the best job I can and continuing to push this police department into the future.”
Franks joined the Elon department in March after climbing the ranks of the police department in Pekin, Ill., where he had served since 1998 and left as deputy chief for special services. He oversaw the Pekin Police Department’s $6.3 million budget, the records and investigations divisions, and all departmental training, recruitment, policy development, grant management and internal affairs.
Pekin is part of the Peoria, Ill., metropolitan area. It is located about two hours southwest of Chicago and has a population of about 35,000.
Franks has master’s and bachelor’s degrees in law enforcement and justice administration from Western Illinois University, and graduated from Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command. He also recently completed training at the Executive Institute of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.