UCPD announces new chief Yogananda Pittman

This article was originally published on Monday, December 5, 2022, in The Daily Californian. You can read an archived version at the Internet Archive.

UC Berkeley administrators announced that Yogananda Pittman will serve as UCPD’s chief of police in a campuswide email Monday. 

Pittman, who currently serves as the assistant chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, was selected following a process led by campus’s Chief of Police Search Committee, which was established in January. She will succeed retiring UCPD Chief Margo Bennett on Feb. 1, 2023, the email notes. 

“We are confident that the combination of Yogananda’s experiences, values, and skills meet the search committee’s vision for this crucial role,” said Chancellor Carol Christ, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Benjamin Hermalin and Vice Chancellor Marc Fisher in the campuswide email. “Although different, the U.S. Capitol complex and the UC Berkeley campus are both large, public campuses with tens of thousands of daily users that share many safety challenges.”

Pittman has worked for the United States Capitol Police for more than 20 years and was named acting chief of the Capitol Police just two days after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the email notes. The first Black woman to lead the Capitol Police, she served in that capacity for six months following the resignation of former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund in the aftermath of the attack. 

The search committee conducted a “competitive” and national search that attracted numerous high-quality candidates and feedback from more than 300 faculty, staff and students, according to the email. 

In addition to her experience with the Capitol Police, Pittman is a “lifelong scholar,” the email adds. Pittman holds a master’s degree in public administration from Marist College in New York and is currently a public administration Ph.D. candidate at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. 

“Yogananda made an impression on the search committee for her thoughtful approach to campus and community safety, her recognition of the unique aspects of providing police services and safety on a university campus, and her willingness to engage with – and listen to – students, faculty, and staff in developing a campus safety plan that works for the entire Berkeley campus community,” the email reads.

Check back for updates.

Last updated Monday, December 5, 2022. Written by Gabe Classon.

Tags: Benjamin Hermalin, Carol Christ, Chief of Police Search Committee, Marc Fisher, Marist College, New York, Pennsylvania, Steven Sund, U.S. Capitol, U.S. Capitol Police, UCPD, West Chester University, Yogananda Pittman