Holmes succeeds Tom Hart, who retired at the end of March after more than 10 years of service to Duquesne. Chief Holmes starts Monday, May 23, 2022.
"Eric Holmes brings to Duquesne a comprehensive law enforcement background that encompasses both municipality and university settings," said Doug Frizzell, vice president for student life. "He is proactive, forward-thinking and strategic in his work. His community-minded philosophy for law enforcement, coupled with a genuine interest in working with college students, made him immediately stand out in our national search."
Holmes will bring to Duquesne 25 years of law enforcement, security, risk management, and administrative experience, including deep expertise in campus and community relations-driven approaches to public safety. He started his career in higher education public safety working as a police officer at the University of Pittsburgh. Holmes also has extensive experience in higher education risk management and law enforcement.
Holmes served as site liaison for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police when, in 2014, was one of six pilot sites selected to take part in the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. He also served on the My Brother's Keeper Allegheny County/City of Pittsburgh committee. Holmes currently serves on the Pitt Institute of Politics Criminal Justice Racial Disparities study working group, having been appointed by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to serve this important effort.
"I am honored to have been selected as the next chief of police and director of public safety for Duquesne University," Holmes said. "This is a natural step in my career and my personal aspirations because I live a principled life through faith and in service to others."
Holmes oversaw the implementation of data-driven, intelligence-led policing in Pittsburgh with the establishment of the Bureau of Police Crime Analysis Unit and Real Time Crime Center. He currently serves on the Major Cities Chiefs Intelligence Commanders Committee. Additionally, Holmes has taught courses as adjunct faculty at local universities.
"Among the most compelling characteristics that led us to select Eric Holmes as the new chief is that he has been consistently recognized as a leading driver of operational improvement, innovative outreach, community relationships, and diplomatic approaches to problem solving in his work," Frizzell said.
In addition to a bachelor's in communication from Slippery Rock and a master's in criminal justice administration from Point Park University, Holmes is a graduate of The Advanced Leadership Institute in partnership with the Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business; the Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police, Session #77; and the Naval Post Graduate School Executive Leaders Program. He also is an executive fellow with the National Police Institute.
Holmes is a member of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and its government committee. His current and past work with professional and volunteer organizations includes the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences; Pittsburgh Regional Champions; Leadership Pittsburgh LDI XVIII; the YWCA Community Board of Directors; the City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission; and Amachi Pittsburgh. In addition, Holmes has been recognized with the FBI-LEEDA Trilogy Award and the New Pittsburgh Courier Man of Excellence Award.