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Rice tapped as new MSU police chief


M. Vance Rice

M. Vance Rice



Carl Smith



M. Vance Rice, a 20-plus year law enforcement veteran currently working at the University of Arkansas, will lead the Mississippi State University Police Department pending approval from the State College Board. 


Rice, who serves as UA's police services captain, is expected to begin working July 16, MSU announced Tuesday. 


He joined the university's police department in 1989, where he served as patrol sergeant and a lieutenant in the criminal investigations and patrol departments. Last year, Rice began managing all patrol and investigations within the police department. 


Rice graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2004 and from the Arkansas School of Law Enforcement Supervision four years later. He also holds a bachelor's and master's degree from UA. 


Former MSU Police Chief Georgia Lindley resigned her position last year. Assistant Chief Kenneth Spencer was named interim department head in her absence. 


Purdue University Police Department veteran Tim Potts accepted the job earlier this spring but was unable to follow through with the commitment due to personal reasons, the university announced Tuesday. 


In a release, Rice said he is humbled by his selection and looks forward to working collaboratively with MSU's students, staff and faculty. 


"Our exceptional and nationally accredited police department is a critical component in assuring the safety of our campus," the university said in a statement. "(Rice) brings extensive experience and outstanding leadership abilities to our police department (and) will be able to lead us to even higher levels of professionalism, performance and innovation."


Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch



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