Tommye Sutton

Assistant Vice President and Chief of Police

Tommye S. Sutton, deputy chief of police at Northwestern University, has been named assistant vice president and chief of police at the University of Virginia, effective Aug. 1. Sutton will succeed Mike Gibson, who is retiring after leading the University Police Department for nearly 13 years. Gibson started his career at UVA as a patrol officer in 1982.

At Northwestern, Sutton has overseen all patrol, investigations, special event planning, security operations and the administrative functions on the Evanston and Chicago campuses since 2015.

Among other accomplishments, he implemented a department-wide in-service training program utilizing principles of fairness, inclusion and understanding of bias as the foundation; implemented “Mental Health First Aid” as a mandatory annual department training; and restructured the department’s hiring and promotional process, resulting in increases in the hiring and promotion of underrepresented groups.

Prior to taking his role at Northwestern, Sutton served as deputy chief of police and director of charter school security at the University of Chicago from 2013 to 2015 and served as a police lieutenant at Vanderbilt University from 2008 to 2013.

Sutton was selected after a comprehensive effort by a search committee appointed by Hogan and Associate Vice President for Safety and Security Gloria Graham. Sutton will report to Graham and serve as the principal administrator in planning, directing and managing the comprehensive law enforcement and administrative components of the UVA Police Department. He will direct and administer the overall policing initiatives of the academic and UVA Medical Center communities.

Sutton earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2001 and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Tennessee State University in 2017. He is currently working toward a Ph.D. in higher education leadership from Concordia University Chicago.