Cal Poly Pomona’s newest Chief of Police brings to campus a commitment to service fostered since his childhood. In 1975, at just 5 months old, Linh Dinh arrived in Arkansas with his parents as refugees of the Vietnam War. Dinh and his family spent his early years in Ohio and Iowa, before moving to Southern California. Chief Dinh credits these formative years as integral in his career in law enforcement:
“It was the generosity of the strangers that helped us settle in that provided me with opportunities I would have never had otherwise. Their kindness inspired my dedication to help and serve others.”
Dinh’s commitment to service brings him to Cal Poly Pomona as the new Chief of University Police, effective July 25.
As Chief of Police, Dinh is responsible for the safety and security of the campus community. To fulfill this mission, Chief Dinh will work closely with the university’s Police and Safety Advisory Committee to promote engagement between the University Police Department (UPD) and the campus community, advance our commitment to implementing a community policing framework, and align UPD’s culture and operations with the university values of inclusivity, community engagement and social and environmental responsibility.
The selection of Chief Dinh comes after a robust national search, which Ysabel Trinidad, vice president for administration and finance, led in conjunction with Student Affairs.
“We are grateful for the robust campus support and participation throughout the search process. With our community policing model, it was so important that we heard and understood the needs of our campus community, especially those of our students. We partnered closely with Student Affairs and Vice President Gonzales throughout the search to ensure that the student voice and perspective were woven into the entire process,” Trinidad said.
Dinh’s career has been defined not only by his motivation to give back but also his stewardship to the community – one of the key qualities that made him the best fit for the position.
“Throughout our conversations, Chief Dinh exemplified a strong community service approach. His broad experience and deep commitment to higher education will allow him to build close partnerships throughout our campus community and to effectively lead our University Police Department. We look forward to welcoming him to Cal Poly Pomona and to continuing our discussions of how UPD can best serve and support our campus community,” Trinidad said.
As a lifelong learner, Dinh earned his bachelor’s degree and teaching credential at UCLA, completed several certification programs from the Commission on Peace Officer Standards & Training, and graduated from the FBI National Academy – a premier global 10-week course aimed at raising law enforcement standards, cooperation and innovation in the administration of justice around the world.
While Dinh began his career serving on urban planning and conservation teams, his true passion came to light once he began serving educational communities. Over his 13 years of service to the Montebello Unified School District Police Department, he worked his way up to become Chief of Police while also being an instructor of protective services for adult education.
In his most recent position as a lieutenant for CSU Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), Dinh served on a multidisciplinary team that collaborated to support large-scale events hosted at the university. He also worked to build up the campus through his involvement in coaching, mentoring and guidance focused on supporting the CSUDH community.
Reflecting on his journey to Cal Poly Pomona, Dinh shared how a campus visit a few years back set the stage for his eventual move to the home of the Broncos.
“I was attending my cousin’s graduation, and looking around, I thought ‘What a beautiful setting to be learning in.’ And when asking volunteers for directions, I thought, ‘Wow, they seem pretty happy.’
“I decided then and there that if I ever had the opportunity to work here, I would go all in for it.”
Vice President for Student Affairs Christina Gonzales looks forward to working closely with Chief Dinh to usher in a new chapter for CPP.
“With his experience and understanding of what college life is like for our students, I look forward to all the new and innovative ways we will have to collaborate.”
Chief Dinh’s experience with the university has only affirmed his dedication to the Bronco community.
“I appreciate the diverse community of the campus and the innovation that happens throughout each department,” he said.
“I especially love the philosophy of ‘learn by doing’ because I think that’s the best way one can gain the skills needed to become agents of good. I’m excited to work at Cal Poly Pomona and look forward to meeting everybody.”