New Baylor University Police Chief Sworn In
- Baylor University Police Department Chief John Kolinek is congratulated by retired Chief Brad Wigtil following a June 1, 2021 swearing-in ceremony at Pat Neff Hall. Also attending were (L to R) Robyn Driskell, Ph.D., vice president for internal administration and compliance and chief of staff, and said Mark G. Childers, associate vice president of public safety and security for Baylor's Department of Public Safety. (Robert Rogers/Baylor University)
- Baylor University Police Department Chief John Kolinek (Robert Rogers/Baylor University)
Chief John Kolinek takes the reins of Baylor's nationally accredited law enforcement agency
WACO, Texas (June 1, 2021) – John Kolinek, who has served as assistant chief of the Baylor University Police Department (BUPD) since 2016, was sworn in today as chief of police during a ceremony at Pat Neff Hall. Kolinek succeeds Chief Brad Wigtil, who retired May 31 after leading the University's nationally accredited campus law enforcement agency for the past six years.
“As the new police chief of the Baylor University Police Department, John Kolinek brings more than 30 years of leadership and law enforcement experience to the University,” said Mark G. Childers, associate vice president of public safety and security for Baylor's Department of Public Safety. “Chief Kolinek exemplifies servant leadership, which is evident by his daily commitment and passion for protecting the Baylor University community. John is an exceptional choice for this position and will serve the Department of Public Safety and the Baylor community well.”
A Waco native, Kolinek served in multiple roles with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office for more than 25 years before joining BUPD in 2015 as a captain and later as assistant chief. Wigtil – who said Kolinek’s diligent efforts were largely responsible for many of the progressive changes accomplished at BUPD – praised Kolinek as an "exceptional choice to lead the department moving forward."
Kolinek began his law enforcement career in 1990 with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office. He was promoted to sergeant in 2001 and supervised a plainclothes mental health/warrant service. He then transferred to patrol as a sergeant, was promoted to patrol lieutenant, and in 2008, became a captain and oversaw all jail operations. He took on additional responsibilities, including security of the McLennan County Courthouse and as the Sheriff’s representative with the County Commissioners Court and judges in McLennan County. In 2015, he assisted Sheriff Parnell McNamara with all media requests related to the Twin Peaks incident. He also served the Sheriff’s Office as a hostage negotiator.
Kolinek earned his B.S. in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University. Through his training and years of service, he also obtained a Masters’ Peace Officer Certification.
The Baylor University Police Department has a staff of 63 persons, including 37 police officers, 10 dispatchers, 14 security officers, an administrative manager and a records manager.
All Baylor-commissioned peace officers and dispatchers must successfully complete an arduous screening process as mandated by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE). All officers and dispatchers who work for BUPD are licensed and certified by TCOLE as meeting the minimum training requirements of the State of Texas for all peace officers or dispatchers.
In May 2018, BUPD received its accreditation from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) – a highly prized recognition of campus public safety professional excellence – after an accreditation committee completed its assessment of all aspects of BUPD's policy and procedures, management, operation and support services. BUPD met IACLEA's 215 standards that impact public safety, address high liability and risk management issues and generally promote operational efficiency throughout the agency. The standards are unique to campus law enforcement and represent best practices.
BUPD also announced that Don Rodman has joined the University as assistant chief under Kolinek. He comes to Baylor after serving 18 years at his alma mater Northern Illinois University, most recently as police commander from 2013 to 2021.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 19,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.