Jason Mollendor, a 22-year veteran of the Auraria Campus Police Department, will serve as the ACPD’s next police chief, the Auraria Higher Education Center announced , following a national search and community-engagement process.

Mollendor has been leading the department on an interim basis following the departure of former Chief Michael Phibbs, who accepted a leadership role with the Colorado Department of Revenue last January.

In a joint statement, leaders of Auraria’s three institutions of higher learning and AHEC said Mollendor’s extensive knowledge of the campus and its community make him an ideal choice. Mollendor is a graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver, the University of Colorado Denver and the Colorado Community College System.

“He exemplifies the profound qualities that students earn within our collective higher-education programs,” said MSU Denver President Janine Davidson, Ph.D.; CU Denver Chancellor Michelle Marks, Ph.D.; Community College of Denver President Marielena DeSanctis, Ph.D.; and AHEC CEO Colleen Walker, MBA.

AHEC announced the hiring decision following a monthslong national search, which relied heavily on campus input gathered in surveys, a listening tour and other channels. A search committee composed of students and employees across campus was impressed with Mollendor’s history of community-engaged policing, institutional leaders said.

Jason Mollendor

“I consider overseeing the safety and well-being of our Auraria Campus community one of the most impactful and important roles on the campus,” Mollendor said. “I feel very fortunate to hold such a prestigious position on a campus that I love and consider my home.”

During his 22-year tenure with the ACPD, Mollendor has become highly trained in campus safety and is well-versed in important higher-education regulations and laws, such as the Clery Act, Title IX regulations and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, AHEC said in a news release. In recent years, Mollendor has been recognized as an ally by the Auraria Campus LGBTQIA+ Center and the Phoenix Center, and he was awarded a Lifesaving Medal for supporting a student in crisis, the release stated.