John Beshara named YSU police chief

John Beshara is Youngstown State University's new police chief.

John Beshara

There’s a new chief on campus.

John Beshara, a captain in the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office and a 24-year veteran of law enforcement, has been named the new Chief of Police at YSU.

“Capt. Beshara brings to the YSU Police Department a wealth of experience and knowledge and a stellar reputation in law enforcement circles throughout the region,” YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson said. “As a YSU graduate and a lifelong resident of Mahoning County, Capt. Beshara is committed to making the university and the surrounding community a safe place to learn and live.”

Beshara, selected after a three-month search, replaces John Gocala, who retired Jan. 31 after 20 years at the helm of YSU campus police. He started the new position on Monday, Feb. 20. “Service to others is the most noblest of endeavors,” Beshara said about his appointment.

The YSU Police Department employs 22 full-time and 140 part-time commissioned officers.

Beshara earned associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice/law enforcement administration from YSU. He also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He is a part-time school resource officer for the Youngstown City School District and has worked as an intermittent officer for the YSU police for more than 20 years.

At the Sheriff’s Office, Beshara is the Officer in Charge responsible for law enforcement, corrections and administrative functions, work assignments, conducting internal investigations, responding to emergency incidents, strategic planning and policy management, hiring, employee evaluations and discipline. In addition, he has served as a child abuse investigator and a member of the Crisis Response Team, Violent Crimes Task Force and Fugitive Task Force. He has worked on several dignitary security details, developed the physical fitness test for the Sheriff’s Office, founded the Shop with a Cop program for the Sheriff’s Office, and served as president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #141.

Beshara and his wife, Julie (Ladas), have been married for 21 years, and have two daughters, Taylor and Emily.

About Youngstown State University
Youngstown State University is a comprehensive emerging urban research university that offers over 14,000 students more than 135 undergraduate and graduate programs backed by a strong tradition of teaching, scholarship and public service. As a major educational and economic development resource in the region, YSU is known for its focus on academic research and creative programs that transform its students into successful professionals, scholars and leaders. Located in the heart of the Tech Belt between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, YSU provides opportunities for students to actively participate with accomplished faculty, often in one-on-one settings, on advanced research and creative collaborations. The beautiful 145-acre campus includes high-tech classrooms, state-of-the-art labs and performance facilities, a variety of on-campus housing options and recreational facilities among the best in the nation.

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