Shortt named UVa-Wise police chief


A veteran officer who has risen through the ranks for more than 20 years has been selected to head The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Campus Police Department.

Ronnie L. Shortt was named chief of campus police this spring. Shortt has been a member of the UVa-Wise Campus Police Department since 1992. Shortt replaces Steve McCoy, who recently retired.

“Ronnie Shortt is a strong leader with a wealth of law enforcement experience,” Chancellor Donna P. Henry said. “He knows the UVa-Wise campus well, and he is committed to providing a safe environment. Chief Shortt and his officers will continue to serve our campus using best practices that allow for student learning and strong community partnership.”

Prior to joining UVa-Wise, Shortt began his law enforcement career with the Wise County Sheriff’s Department. He began work on campus as a patrolman and served in that capacity for eight years. As a patrolman, Shortt gained solid experience with all aspects of the campus law enforcement. He served a stint patrolling on each of the three shifts of duty.

For the next 10 years, Shortt served as coordinator of parking enforcement and special events, which was a supervisory position. For the last three years, Shortt served as sergeant, which also included supervisory duties. Shortt is now chief of the nine-member campus police department.

“In my time here, I’ve seen tremendous improvements and advancements in the department,” Shortt said. “The department has developed into a top-notch professional law enforcement department that has earned a great deal of respect among the law enforcement community. We are known as a well-trained, qualified and professional organization.”

Shortt, who serves on the Wise County Board of Supervisors, does not expect any major changes in the way his department operates. He plans to continue campus safety training efforts and to work closely with law enforcement in the surrounding area.

“I want to make sure that our department continues to create an atmosphere on campus where students, faculty and staff feel that it is a safe place to learn, work, grow and develop,” Shortt said. “We have a great working relationship with all the local agencies. We want that to continue. We bring law enforcement officers to campus for various training and we host training seminars here for local law enforcement.

Shortt said he appreciates the opportunity to lead the department as chief and he is looking forward to continuing his service to the College.