The Penn Police Department's inaugural commanding officer of diversity, equity, and inclusion quietly left her role after 21 years in the Division of Public Safety.
Vice President for Public Safety Kathleen Shields Anderson told The Daily Pennsylvanian on March 22 that Nicole McCoy is no longer employed by Penn. McCoy first joined the Penn Police Department as a patrol officer in 2002. She rose to the role of patrol lieutenant before she was appointed in 2021 as the police department's first commanding officer of DEI and was also promoted to captain.
McCoy's unexpected departure, which was not initially made public, leaves the position vacant. DPS is currently reassessing its diversity, equity, and inclusion program before appointing someone to the position that McCoy held, Anderson said.
“DPS is reexamining the program to find the right fit internally and externally to address DEI efforts,” Anderson said, adding that a current DPS staff member is filling some portions of the DEI role for the time being.
When asked why McCoy is no longer employed with Penn, Anderson said DPS could not comment. McCoy did not respond to immediate request for comment
In response to a question about why the University limited access to public Penn Today articles about McCoy, University spokesperson Ron Ozio referred to DPS for comment.
The now-removed articles that the DP inquired about now display the message "Page Not Found" when loaded. One article was about McCoy's appointment to the role of DEI commanding officer, and another interviewed McCoy regarding winter safety tips.
Anderson said that McCoy's name was removed from the Penn Police contact website to ensure that people wishing to contact Penn Police regarding DEI did not contact the wrong person. Anderson added that DPS is still continuing to participate in campus-wide DEI groups and initiatives.
McCoy was also listed as the contact person for the Penn branch of the Police Athletic League, a nonprofit organization focused on engaging youth in educational and recreational programs. Anderson said Chief of Penn Police Gary Williams is now the contact person.
Before coming to Penn, McCoy was a patrol officer at Temple University and graduated as a member of the 457th class of officers to graduate from the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety’s School of Police Staff and Command.
Maureen Rush, the previous vice president of public safety, told the DP in 2021 that the position of the commanding officer of DEI was created to have a central office dedicated to responding to the needs of minority groups on Penn’s campus.
McCoy previously told the DP that she was working on increasing communication between students and police officers, while also updating the hiring process.
“I’ve been on this campus since I was born, and I want students to know that we’re here to listen to them,” McCoy said in an interview with the DP in 2021.