NCCU alumna appointed Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police

Updated: 9:53 AM

Dec. 9, 2015



(919) 530-5440

North Carolina Central University Appoints Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police

DURHAM, N.C. – Major Odetta Johnson has been appointed director of Public Safety and chief of police for North Carolina Central University (NCCU) after a national competitive search.

About Major Johnson

Johnson, an alumna of NCCU who previously served as a major and chief of staff with the Richmond, Va., Police Department, began her new role at the university on Dec. 2, 2015. Her appointment as chief of police is pending final approval by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.

Johnson brings to NCCU more than two decades of experience and a wealth and breath of expertise in law enforcement, most recently with the Richmond Police Department where she has served in a number of leadership roles.

In her current assignment, Johnson is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Office of the Police Chief, including managing budgets, directing policy, as well as supervising public affairs and the Executive Protection Unit. In her previous role with the Richmond Police Department, Johnson served as police commander of the First Precinct, supervising a staff of 122 employees.

Other experience 

Her experience also includes assignments in Field Operations, Economic Crimes Unit, Organized Crimes, Forensics, Youth & Family Crime Unit, Internal Affairs and the Disciplinary Review Office.

In 2010, Johnson was appointed interim chief of police for Virginia Union University where she commanded the campus police staff and was responsible for managing, developing and organizing the daily functions for the department.

A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Johnson received a Bronze Star Metal for her leadership following her tour of duty. She is a retired reservist in the U.S. Army with 24 years of service, and her last assignment was the Equal Opportunity Advisor for the 80th Training Command.

An accomplished and proven leader, Johnson holds active membership and serves on a number of boards for organizations in the law enforcement community and has advanced management training with several law enforcement institutes.

Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from NCCU. She has also completed a Master of Business Administration degree.

Web version of the news release:

About North Carolina Central University

North Carolina Central University prepares students to succeed in the global marketplace. Flagship programs include the sciences, technology, nursing, education, law, business and the arts. Founded in 1910 as a liberal arts college for African-Americans, NCCU remains committed to diversity in higher education. Our alumni excel in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Visit <>