GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – East Carolina University’s police chief Jon Barnwell is stepping down.

Barnwell will work for the UNC System Office of Safety and Enterprise Risk Management team. This new role will include him focusing on all 17 campuses in the UNC System, further improving campus safety and security.

Barnwell told ECU News Services that he is proud of his time at ECU and the progress they made to further enhance safety on campus. He also said he is excited about the new opportunity to provide assistance to all campuses within the UNC System.

He started at ECU in September of 2017 where he came from Tulane University.

“We appreciate Chief Barnwell’s work to keep our campus safe during his more than five years at ECU,” said Bill Koch, associate vice chancellor for campus safety and auxiliary services. “He has been a leader on several UNC System committees during his time at ECU. We look forward to seeing him use his considerable experience to assist UNC campuses in continuing to improve safety and security.”

Capt. Elizabeth “Beth” Watkins, Support Services Division, will serve as acting chief, according to Koch. ECU Police Deputy Chief Jason Sugg is serving as interim chief at the Elizabeth City State University Police Department as it completes a search for a new police chief.

Watkins, who leads the Support Services Division, has been an ECU police officer since 1995 serving in a variety of supervisory and management roles. She earned her undergraduate degree in criminal justice and her Master of Public Administration from ECU. She also completed the Administrative Officers Management Program in 2011, has served as an AOMP Alumni Board Member since 2018, and is the first vice president of the board.

The ECU Police Department employs more than 60 sworn officers along with civilian staff. The department is dually accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.