Hampton Cantrell Selected for Top Public Safety Position

Saint Mary’s College has appointed Hampton Cantrell as the College’s executive director and chief of public safety and transportation. After a lengthy nationwide search, Cantrell ascended as the top candidate for the position. With more than 10 years of college public safety experience at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, 26 years of sworn police service in southern California, and several years as a security consultant specializing in higher education, Cantrell brings to Saint Mary’s a rich mix of experience and dedication to public safety.

A licensed California attorney, Cantrell also specializes in security law, higher education security, and higher education employee and student grievances and disciplinary issues, emphasizing procedural fairness and institutional accountability.

“I am grateful and excited to join the Saint Mary’s community, and I’m eager to meet and partner with students, faculty and staff,” said Cantrell. “I am committed to collaboration, transparency, clear communications, dignity and respect for all people, and establishing trust to ensure a safe campus.”

Cantrell is the first Black employee to hold the executive public safety position at Saint Mary’s. “The timing couldn’t be better to have Chief Cantrell join our community,” said Margaret Kasimatis, interim executive vice president. “As we address concerns about social justice, equity, and inclusion, especially with regard to police relations with communities of color, Chief Cantrell possesses the insights, wisdom, and lived experiences to help us with this critical work”

Cantrell received a BA in political science from the University of California at Irvine, and a JD from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles. From 2018 to 2020, he served as president of the California College and University Police Chiefs Association (CCUPCA). Cantrell started his new position at Saint Mary’s on May 3, and will fully transition to be on campus beginning June 7.