Jerry Minger, superintendent of public safety at IU, announces retirement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Jerry Minger, saying “66 is the magic number,” has announced his retirement as superintendent of public safety for Indiana University after 44 years with the university.
An IU alumnus and 2002 graduate of the FBI National Academy, he served as a patrol officer before moving into the role of technical services lieutenant, which, among many things, involved networking IU Police Department Bloomington for computers at a time when computer servers held less data than the typical smartphone.
After becoming administrative captain, he was interim police chief before being selected in 2010 as the first director for the consolidated IUPD, which brought together all of the campus police departments under one administrative structure. IUPD is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance.
"Student safety is a high priority at IU, and so expectations were very high when Jerry was appointed to leadership of IUPD," said John Applegate, executive vice president for university academic affairs. "In addition, the campus divisions of IUPD had not been under unified command for several decades, so the superintendent position was a new one. With his long and varied experience here at IU, Jerry was able to lead the development of an organization that adheres to the best practices of law enforcement in the particular setting of university campuses."
"When I assumed responsibility for IU's newly organized assurance activities in 2010, the task of figuring out and creating what the university needed was pretty daunting," said Mark Bruhn, associate vice president for public safety and institutional assurance. "But, with Jerry at the public safety helm, with his breadth of experience and his calm and deliberate style, the way forward in that area became pretty clear and we made progress very quickly."
Minger, a founding member of the Bloomington-area Justin Case Band (classic rock, country, bluegrass and jazz), first headed to college at Vincennes University on a music scholarship. The son of a police officer, he later transferred to IU and switched his major from elementary education to general studies. His sister Kay Minger, who also retired as a Bloomington police detective sergeant, was studying forensic science at IU at the time.
When Minger joined the "Safety Division" at IU Bloomington in 1972, there were almost 100 full-time officers, compared to less than 50 now; but this also was at a time when universities nationwide had just begun creating their own police departments. Not only was it a period of social unrest, but police officers performed tasks, such as providing building security, that now fall to other security positions.
Minger remembers typing out police reports using carbons in order to create five copies for filing. The job and technology never stopped changing, which appealed to Minger, who can quickly lapse into geek-speak.
"For 43 years (with IUPD), it's kept evolving," he said. "I was on the SWAT team in '80s. We had to carry quarters in case we needed to make a call. We had number pagers, not text."
It's the people he will miss, however. As trite as it sounds, he said, some of his favorite memories are of helping people. He'll miss the camaraderie found within police departments -- but perhaps not the 100 emails he receives daily.
"Some people get tired of their jobs; it was never like that with me," he said. "I always thought I'd retire when I turned 66. Here I am."
A search and screen committee has been appointed to help search for Minger's successor, who is expected to be selected this spring. Bob True, chief of IUPD Indianapolis, will serve as interim superintendent of public safety after Minger retires Feb. 29.
A retirement reception for Minger is planned for 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Musical Arts Center on the IU Bloomington campus. RSVPs may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 812-856-1742 by Feb. 15.