Virginia Commonwealth University announced Wednesday that Howard “Mike” O’Berry will serve as the university’s interim police chief, beginning Aug. 1.
O’Berry currently serves as assistant chief of police and has spent 25 years with the VCU Police Department. He will take over for Chief John Venuti, who was promoted last fall to associate vice president of public safety for VCU and VCU Health, the university said in a statement.
Lt. Nicole Dailey will fill O’Berry’s role as the department’s interim assistant chief. Together, O’Berry and Dailey will assume the day-to-day leadership of the school’s police force.
O’Berry previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and VCU’s Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute, and he serves as a board member for the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.
Dailey has been with the department for 21 years and had management roles in patrol, support services, security services, crime prevention and special projects.
“VCU is fortunate to have the talent and experience internally to fill these critical roles on an interim basis as we evaluate our next steps to fill these positions permanently,” said Meredith Weiss, VCU vice president for administration. “As longtime, dedicated leaders in the department, they understand the policing needs for an urban university and 21st-century academic health system.”
The university has been looking for a new chief since Venuti’s promotion, but this is the first indication that the process is moving forward.