John Beshara officially started his job as police chief for the Youngstown State University Police Department on Monday.
Beshara replaces John Gocala, who retired Jan. 31, after a three-month search.
Lt. Mike Cretella filled in as interim chief prior to Beshara’s being selected.
“It’s exciting to have a new chief who is young and energetic,” Cretella said. “He’s bringing new ideas to the department; he’s very goal-oriented, and we’ll strive to reach those goals.”
Beshara carries more than 20 years of experience at the YSUPD and the Mahoning County Sheriff’s department.
Beshara received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice and law enforcement administration from YSU. He has also worked as a part-time officer for the YSUPD.
Ron Cole, director of university communications, said Beshara’s connection with surrounding law enforcement agencies would benefit the university.
“We have a very effective police department with a good reputation of keeping the campus safe,” Cole said. “I expect that Chief Beshara will continue that.”
“Captain Beshara brings to the YSU Police Department a wealth of experience and knowledge and a stellar reputation in law enforcement circles throughout the region,” Cynthia Anderson, president of YSU, said in a press release.
“As a YSU graduate and a lifelong resident of Mahoning County, Captain Beshara is committed to making the university and the surrounding community a safe place to learn and live,” Anderson said.
Beshara said he is excited to bring his ideas and expertise to the community.
“To serve others is the noblest of endeavors,” Beshara said. “Our police department will always uphold that and serve the community.”
Beshara said he believes the campus is a great place and is ecstatic to have the opportunity.
“The safety of kids, students, staff, faculty and visitors is our main priority and our concern,” Beshara said.