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David Honan to lead Cornell Police

Deputy Chief of Police David Honan will become Cornell University Chief of Police March 4, succeeding Kathy Zoner, who is leaving the university for a position at a national professional services firm.

David Honan, deputy chief of Cornell University Police, will become chief March 4.

Originally from Rochester, New York, Honan joined the Cornell University Police Department in 1995. Progressing through the ranks as an officer, sergeant and lieutenant, he has served as deputy chief of police since 2010.

“Throughout his many years of service at Cornell, Dave has proven himself to be a trusted leader and highly regarded partner to both the campus community and local law enforcement agencies,” said Joanne DeStefano, Cornell executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Dave is a strong advocate for community policing, where members of the police force get to know the people they serve and treat all in their jurisdiction with dignity and respect. He is committed to building trust and advancing a campus culture that opposes and works to prevent all forms of violence.”

DeStefano added, “Dave’s deep understanding of Cornell and his off-campus law enforcement experience make him the best choice to lead Cornell’s police department.”

One of Honan’s first endeavors will be to hold a listening tour with campus constituents, including the assemblies, student leadership and historically marginalized groups, to more fully understand their needs and concerns and to help shape Cornell University Police priorities over the next few years.

“I am passionate about building bridges and meaningful connections between law enforcement and all members of our community,” Honan said. “As we have regularly done in the past, we will continue to actively pursue opportunities to meet, collaborate and develop relationships between police and students, as well as with the staff, faculty and visitors who come to campus.”

Honan currently serves on various committees on campus, including the Bias Assessment and Review Team; Cornell Diversity Community; Behavioral Health Committee; Coalition on Mental Health and Well-being; Alcohol and Other Drug Review Team; and the Cornell Incident Management Team. In his new role, Honan will succeed Zoner as a member of the Cornell Threat Assessment Team.

Effective concurrent with Honan’s appointment, the Cornell University Police Department will report to Vice President for Facilities and Campus Services Rick Burgess, who had managed a police force prior to his coming to Cornell.

“Dave will be a superb leader, and I look forward to working with him in the years ahead,” said Burgess.

Honan is a certified police instructor and police firearms instructor. He has also attended and taught many classes in police management, community engagement, effective investigations, victim advocacy and diversity. He is a graduate of Cornell’s Leading Cornell and Harold D. Craft leadership development programs.

Before joining the Cornell University Police, Honan was an officer for the town of Greece Auxiliary Police and the Groton Police Department, and a dispatcher and officer for the New York State Park Police. He currently is also an officer with the Cayuga Heights Police Department.

Honan is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal and juvenile justice from Ithaca College.

Media Contact

John Carberry