Humboldt State University reached all the way across the nation to pluck its new chief of police, Donn G. Peterson, a major in the Broward County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office, who will begin at HSU in January.
According to the HSU Lumberjack, Peterson was appointed the position but still needs to pass a background check. Current Chief Lynne Soderberg will stay on until Peterson has comfortably transitioned to the area.
Peterson is apparently a California boy — he graduated from Analy High School in Sebastopol in 1982, according to his resume — but he attended police academy and served as a commander, captain and major in South Florida for the past 25 years.
In 2011, Peterson rescued a baby during a tense standoff in Pompano Beach, according to CBS Miami.
“Peterson, a SWAT commander, was able to use various tools he found in the back yard of the home to rip a hole in the back wall of the house and gained access into a room where the baby was alone in a bassinet,” the report reads. “Peterson was able to leave the home with the baby without alerting [the suspect], who was elsewhere in the house, police said.”
Peterson’s family is in academia, according to a cover letter, and he’s an experienced law enforcement instructor.
“My leadership style is to lead-by-example,” he wrote. “As a proponent of leadership development and succession planning, I consider myself to be eminently approachable with effective communication and listening skills. I’m both a problem solver and a self-starter.”
Peterson beat out more than 40 applicants for the job, including Sonoma State University deputy police Chief Sally Miller, who was a finalist.