UC Merced named a new chief of police effective immediately, officials said Wednesday.
Chou Her is the first person of Hmong descent to lead a public safety agency at any campus in the University of California system, and has nearly two decades of law enforcement experience, according to officials.
He has served the UC Merced community since the campus opened in 2005 and has held the acting police chief role twice while the university looked to fill the position permanently in recent years.
It’s an honor to be selected to lead UC Merced’s police department.
Chou Her, who became chief on Wednesday
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“Chief Her has played a critical role in shaping the department as it and the campus have matured over the past 12 years,” Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services Michael Reese said in a news release. “He has helped develop a policing philosophy that is appropriate for a public research university with UC Merced’s unique characteristics.”
Her has police and emergency management certifications, according to a news release, and was as promoted to lieutenant in 2011 and captain in 2015.
“It’s an honor to be selected to lead UC Merced’s police department,” the 40-year-old said in a news release. “I look forward to continuing and growing our positive engagements with our campus community and the greater Merced community.”
Chou Her is the first person of Hmong descent to lead a public safety agency at any campus in the University of California system, according to officials.
Her succeeds Albert Vasquez, who left UC Merced last year for a position at UC Riverside.
Born in Laos, Her and his family moved to the United States when he was 3. He has lived in Merced for most of his life, according to a news release.
Before joining UC Merced, Her was a deputy sheriff for the Merced County Sheriff’s Office for five years and a probation officer for Stanislaus County for nearly a year, the release said.
He earned an associate’s degree in administration of justice from Merced College. At California State University, Stanislaus, he earned a bachelor’s in criminal justice and a master’s in public administration.
Thaddeus Miller: 209-385-2453,