July 2, 2020
Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,
It is with mixed emotions that we are writing to share the news that Ed Callahan, the Director of the Department of Public Safety and Chief of Police at Brandeis, has informed us of his intention to retire.
As President Liebowitz has noted, “Ed Callahan has served this university with great care and dedication for more than half its existence. In his 42 years of service to Brandeis, Ed has always put the institution’s well-being at the center of his attention. I am grateful for Ed’s enduring commitment to Brandies and I know many generations of students, faculty, and staff are as well.” We are grateful that Ed has agreed to serve as Director until a replacement for him can be identified.
Hired by former police chief Wendell Brooks, Ed arrived at Brandeis in 1978 after graduating from Boston State College with dual degrees in English and Law Enforcement. Over the subsequent 20 years, Ed worked at all levels of Brandeis’s public safety operations, as a patrol officer, investigator, detective sergeant, captain, and deputy chief. In 1998, Ed was promoted to police chief, a role in which he has shown charismatic leadership, serving with equanimity and distinction under a series of administrations.
Ed manages a team of police officers, security and parking officers as well as van drivers whose lengthy tenure bears witness to the positive working environment that he has provided and fostered. Ed has also overseen and mentored many students each year in the Brandeis Emergency Medical Corps (BEMCO) and the Brandeis Escort Services, for which he retains the respect and affection of generations of Brandeis undergraduates.
Under Ed’s leadership, the Department of Public Safety has broadened its approach to address many aspects of the University’s communal well-being. He has enhanced communication and interaction across the University, managed a wide range of high-profile campus events, including visiting heads of state and other prominent public personalities and officials, and has improved communication with city, state and federal law enforcement constituents. Under Ed's leadership the Escort Safety Service has successfully provided continued employment for students who provide safe transportation for the Brandeis Community.
Ed is well-known on campus, having worked successfully with a wide range of Brandeis community members during his long tenure. Ed has served on many committees representing public safety including the Campus Safety Committee, which he led between 2005 and 2016, the Care team and the City United Committee comprised of city of Waltham department leaders.
The welfare and safety of everyone in the Brandeis community has always mattered to Ed, and he has conducted the Department of Public Safety to reflect that longstanding commitment. Ed is privileged to have served Brandeis for such a long tenure and believes it is a moment to pass the torch to a new generation, to bring new leadership that will approach public safety with fresh eyes and renewed energy.
Our search for Brandeis’ next police chief will begin immediately, and will be led by Lois Stanley, the Vice President for Campus Operations. The search will include input and representation from across the university, including students and faculty. We look forward to taking advantage of the opportunity to hire a new police chief to also catalyze community conversation regarding the role of policing on our campus. The broader national dialogue on best practices for police departments and campus public safety officers will be relevant to our search process.
As one of Brandeis’s longest-serving community members, there are many before us, and among us now, who count themselves as beneficiaries of Ed’s unwavering dedication to our institution. Details regarding a celebration of Ed's service to the university will be forthcoming. In the meantime, we want to thank Ed for his service to the University, and extend to him our very best wishes.
VP for Campus Operations
EVP for Finance and Administration