Herman Horton is the new chief of police for Jackson State University’s Department of Public Safety. In prioritizing the safety of JSU’s students, Horton’s duties include developing the vision and mission of the department and oversight of the functions and services of Campus Police.
“I could not be more honored to serve and protect at my alma mater – Jackson State University,” said Horton. “Ensuring the safety of our campus community is my primary mission, and I intend to accomplish this through collaboration and listening to the needs of the community. It is my intention that we continuously surpass expectations as we strive to positively impact lives through our public safety efforts.”
Prior to becoming JSU’s chief of police, Horton was the police chief for Hinds Community College – Utica campus. He is the former director of training for the Jackson Police Department, where he served as a police instructor, training coordinator and training sergeant for over 28 police recruit classes. He also served as dignitary protection for former Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. from 2010- 2013.
A Jackson native, Horton is a retired U.S. Army master sergeant with 28 years of service (10 in the Marine Corps and 18 the Army) where he served as a military police instructor, military police investigator, drill sergeant, deputy inspector general and Army battle command training evaluator.
A few of his military awards include the Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Mississippi Magnolia Medal from the adjutant general of the Mississippi Army National Guard, and the 66th Brigade Commander’s Award for Public Service.
“Chief Horton is informed by his extensive law enforcement experience and brings a fresh perspective to the role,” said Michael Bolden, executive director of campus operations. “With the heightened profile of HBCUs, JSU in particular, and the nationwide focus on law enforcement methods, we are looking to revamp and reimagine campus policing, and I am confident that Chief Horton will do just that.”
Horton’s law enforcement awards include Tri-County Officer of the Year, Jackson Police Department’s Officer of the Year, three-time Officer of the Month, Jackson City Council Outstanding Citizen, Department of Justice Public Service Award, and Mississippi State Senate Commendation as well as the recipient of the Mississippi Business Journal’s Healthcare Heroes Award.
His professional law enforcement certifications include Mississippi law enforcement instructor, firearms instructor, driving instructor, defensive tactics instructor and mental health crisis/de-escalation instructor. He is also the former program coordinator for the Jackson Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team. He also served on the Jackson Police Department’s Hostage Negotiation Team and commanded the department’s Civil Disturbance Team.
Horton is a 1983 graduate of Wingfield High School. He earned his Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and police services as well as his Master of Arts in criminology and justice services from JSU.
He is a lifetime member of the Brooks W. Stewart Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 9832 and serves on the board of trustees where he is a member of Cathedral A.M.E. Zion Church. He is married to Shameka Horton, and they have three sons.