The Indiana Memorial Union's University Club room was full of friends and colleagues of new Indiana University Chief of Police Jill Lees Thursday evening during her swearing-in ceremony.
These companions, new and old, watched as associate vice president for public safety and institutional assurance Benjamin Hunter swore her in and Lees' fiancé Paul Tutsie pinned her new badge on her lapel.
Her father and son sat in the second row along with her aunt and cousin, who Lees said were also there when she graduated from the IU Police Academy in 1994.
Police chiefs from many of IU’s satellite campuses were at the ceremony.
“This is a welcome back, or as we say around here, a welcome home,” said John Applegate, executive vice president for University Academic Affairs.
Lees took her new position March 4. She worked at the Plainfield Police Department for about 23 years before accepting the position at IUPD.
Lees had many different jobs at PPD, such as teaching the Drug Resistance Education Program, participating in Coffee with a Cop, teaching self defense classes and working as a public information officer. She was deputy chief of support when she left PPD.
Plainfield Chief of Police Jared McKee talked about working with Lees and told stories about how she would take him around to meet her friends all the time.
“I have many titles in my life that I truly cherish, such as father, husband, son and brother,” McKee said. “Then I have the title I never would have known had I not listened: and that is friend of Jill.”
When Lees gave her remarks, she spent most of the time thanking people who had helped her to the new position and everyone she considered a friend.
“They are family to me and always will be," Lees said. "They let me be myself. They support me. They tell me when I’m wrong. I’ve always valued my friends.”
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