March 19, 2019  

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University Police Updates Gulf Coast Division, Promotes Officer

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Patrick Williams

The University of Southern Mississippi’s University Police Department (UPD) along the Mississippi Gulf Coast has transitioned from a UPD Gulf Coast Division to a UPD Gulf Coast Patrol Division, and promoted officer Patrick Williams to lead the division’s safety efforts. The Gulf Coast Patrol Division serves the University’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Halstead and Cedar Point locations in Ocean Springs, and the Marine Research Center at the Port of Gulfport.

The Gulf Coast Patrol Division will allow UPD to better serve the needs of the University community along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Division headquarters have also moved from the northwest portion of the Gulf Park campus to 138 Beach Park Place. This move creates a more prominent safety presence for the University and surrounding Long Beach community and provides a larger work environment for members of the University’s law enforcement team.

“We understand that our Gulf Coast locations are a vital part of the University and the Gulf Coast region,” said UPD Assistant Chief of Police Rusty Keyes. “So, this transition of our police operations on the coast shows just how serious we are in providing the best safety and security of our students as well as the faculty and staff of Southern Miss.”

A New Orleans native, Williams has been promoted from the rank of Lieutenant to Captain of the newly formed Gulf Coast Patrol Division. Williams retired from federal law enforcement where he spent 23 years as a federal agent with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Williams began his federal career in the DOJ Field Office in New Orleans. During his federal career, he worked with various task forces including the FBI Violent Crime Task Force, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Safe Streets Task Force, Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force and the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force. In 2004, Williams was transferred to the DOJ Field Office in Gulfport as a senior agent, where he served as field supervisor and directed the district’s Search and Enforcement Team.

Williams has been with UPD since September 2015.

“It’s always a good day when we can promote officers from within who have worked hard to achieve excellence,” said Assistant Chief Keyes, who presided over the promotion ceremony of Williams. “I know that he will continue to serve UPD and the University community very well.”

For more information about USM’s University Police Department, visit