Lehigh University names Jason Schiffer as its new police chief. (Harry Fisher / THE MORNING CALL)
Staff reports/The Morning Call, December 18, 2017
Lehigh University announced Tuesday that Jason Schiffer, a former chief of the Bethlehem Police Department, will head the campus police force.
In a statement released by the university, Schiffer said he will work to “provide and maintain a safe environment for students, faculty, staff, and the community, both on and off campus.”
During the last two semesters, Lehigh and city officers have targeted student partying because of concerns about what university officials call “extreme drinking” and the near death of four students because of it.
In the first seven weeks of the fall semester, city and university police have cited nearly 150 Lehigh students for alcohol-related offenses, according to a Morning Call analysis of court records.
Schiffer became the city’s top cop in 2011. He worked for the department for 20 years and was also an international award-winning bicycle officer.
After retiring from the department, Schiffer, who holds a law degree, worked as a trial attorney with the Bethlehem-based firm of Cohen, Feeley, Altemose and Rambo where he specialized in litigating civil rights matters and representing injured clients.
Schiffer, who will start his new job on Jan. 2, replaces Lehigh police Chief Ed Shupp, who is retiring after nearly four decades with the university.
Lehigh officials conducted a national search for a replacement before picking Schiffer.
“We met a number of very impressive candidates, but we feel confident that we found the right person to take on what is an increasingly challenging role on college campuses across the country,” said Pat Johnson, Lehigh’s vice president of finance and administration. “Jason brings not only a deep understanding of demands of this job, but an expanded perspective based on his years with the Bethlehem Police Department and his training and experience as an attorney.”