HARRISBURG, Pa. – Joel Avram has been promoted to lieutenant and named station commander of University Police at Penn State Harrisburg, effective Feb. 1.
Avram has served University Police for seven years. Previously, Avram served in the Reading Police Department for 17 years.
“I am honored for this opportunity to further utilize my law enforcement experience in a way that continues to serve the goal of public safety within the Penn State community,” Avram said.
While with the Reading Police Department, Avram served as criminal investigator, police academy instructor and patrol officer. Avram is currently working toward a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Penn State Berks.
Additionally, police officer Juan Castro Jr., who has served University Police for five years, has been promoted to sergeant at Penn State Harrisburg, effective Feb. 1. Previously, Castro served as a police officer with Henderson, Nevada, and as an officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Castro earned a master’s degree in homeland security at Penn State and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration at the University of Phoenix. Additionally, he has 21 years of emergency medical services and emergency management,
Established in 1926 as Campus Patrol, today Penn State University Police and Public Safety is responsible for protecting and serving more than 100,000, of Penn State’s students, faculty members, staff members and visitors at 22 campuses located throughout Pennsylvania.
In 2017, Penn State centralized University Police and Public Safety by combining campus-based units into one, cohesive department under the direction of the assistant vice president for police and public safety. The unified department has roughly 135 full-time and part-time police officers, 75 non-sworn and civilian staff and roughly 90 student employees.
University Police and Public Safety provides multiple resources and services, including police services, behavioral threat management, Clery compliance and emergency management. The department also includes a K-9 unit and Community-Oriented Policing Unit.