John Kolinek, who has served as assistant chief of the Baylor University Police Department (BUPD) since 2016, was sworn in as Chief of Police. Kolinek succeeds Chief Brad Wigtil, who retired in May after leading the University's nationally accredited campus law enforcement agency for the past six years.
“As the new police chief of the Baylor University Police Department, John Kolinek brings more than 30 years of leadership and law enforcement experience to the University,” said Mark G. Childers, associate vice president of public safety and security for Baylor's Department of Public Safety. “Chief Kolinek exemplifies servant leadership, which is evident by his daily commitment and passion for protecting the Baylor University community. John is an exceptional choice for this position and will serve the Department of Public Safety and the Baylor community well.”
Kolinek served in multiple roles with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office in Texas for more than 25 years before joining BUPD in 2015 as a captain and later as assistant chief. Wigtil – who said Kolinek’s diligent efforts were largely responsible for many of the progressive changes accomplished at BUPD – praised Kolinek as an "exceptional choice to lead the department moving forward."
Kolinek began his law enforcement career in 1990 with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office. He was promoted to sergeant in 2001 and supervised a plainclothes mental health/warrant service. He then transferred to patrol as a sergeant, was promoted to patrol lieutenant, and in 2008, became a captain and oversaw all jail operations. He took on additional responsibilities, including security of the McLennan County Courthouse and as the Sheriff’s representative with the County Commissioners Court and judges in McLennan County. In 2015, he assisted Sheriff Parnell McNamara with all media requests related to the Twin Peaks incident. He also served the Sheriff’s Office as a hostage negotiator.
Kolinek earned his B.S. in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University. Through his training and years of service, he also obtained a Masters’ Peace Officer Certification.
The Baylor University Police Department has a staff of 63 persons, including 37 police officers, 10 dispatchers, 14 security officers, an administrative manager and a records manager.