Dennis Franks to lead Campus Safety and Police

A veteran law enforcement officer from Pekin, Ill., has been selected to be Elon's next Director of Safety and Police.

Dennis Franks will be Elon’s next Director of Campus Safety and Police.


Dennis Franks, a veteran law enforcement officer and deputy chief of the Pekin, Ill., police department, has been selected as Elon University’s next Director of Campus Safety and Police. Franks will join the university March 26 and will succeed longtime director Chuck Gantos, who retires May 31.

“Mr. Franks impressed the members of the search committee with his understanding of community police work, his advocacy for proper training of the officer corps and his excellent relationships within his community and the surrounding agencies with whom he works,” said Gerald Whittington, chair of the search committee and Elon’s senior vice president for business, finance and technology.

“He has a wealth of experience in police work, both in the field and as an administrator, and he is a strong advocate for providing a safe environment for all members of his community,” Whittington said.

Franks joined the Pekin Police Department in 1998 and rose through the ranks from a patrol officer to patrol sergeant, patrol lieutenant and investigations lieutenant before being named deputy chief for special services. He oversees the 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.