Derek McGork ‘97, a 23-year veteran of the Syracuse Police Department (SPD), has been selected from a strong pool of candidates to become the College’s director of security. Currently one of four individuals serving as deputy chief for a police force with an authorized strength of 423 sworn officers and 165 civilian personnel, McGork will begin in his new position on Monday, Aug. 1.
“I’m proud and excited to return to my alma mater to serve our students and the campus community in this role,” said McGork. “Throughout my career in law enforcement, both as an officer and an administrator, I have enjoyed working collaboratively with a diverse group of individuals to build and develop positive relationships to ensure delivery of progressive, accountable, transparent and effective public safety services.”
A 1997 graduate of Le Moyne who majored in business administration and marketing and minored in information systems, McGork currently serves as chief of the uniform bureau, responsible for the executive leadership and oversight of the day-to-day operations of roughly 250 sworn uniformed officers. Prior to that, he served three years as chief of the Investigations Bureau, where his duties included management of the Criminal Investigations Division, Special Investigations Division, Criminal Intelligence Section and the Emergency Response Team. He also served on the executive board of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force. During his time as chief of the Investigations Bureau, he also assisted with the development and implementation of the Syracuse Police Reform & Reinvention Plan, aimed at increasing police accountability, improving transparency and strengthening police-community relations.
Among his other roles during his career with the SPD were detective sergeant in the homicide squad, detective in the cold case squad, a hostage negotiator for the crisis response team, and, since 2005, an instructor for the department. He began his SPD career in 1999 as a uniformed police officer.
In addition to his work at SPD, since 2016 McGork has taught criminology courses at Le Moyne, and he has also taught at Onondaga Community College. He is a member of the Le Moyne College Information Systems Advisory Board, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, the Central New York Association of Chiefs of Police, the Onondaga County Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Executive Research Forum. In addition to his undergraduate degree, he also holds a Master of Advanced Study from the University of California at Irvine, majoring in criminology, law and society.
“Beyond his extensive expertise within multiple areas of law enforcement, Derek is a proven manager and leader,” said Joe Grasso, vice president for finance and administration. “Derek's focus on community relationships, along with his time as a student and as an adjunct professor at Le Moyne, will allow him to build strong relationships with various student groups and with our neighbors.”