By Jeremy Schwartz
SAN MARCOS — John Megerson, director of the Southwest Texas State University Police Department since 1995, died Tuesday evening at his home. He was 61.
Megerson had been sick for several months with pancreatic cancer but worked until two weeks before his death, university officials said.
“He brought to our Police Department a new level of professionalism, competence, public service and integrity,” said Jim Studer, vice president for student affairs.
Megerson had a long career of serving in college police departments. He came to San Marcos from Miami-Dade Community College, where he was district director of security.
Before that, for 12 years he was director of the Institute of Criminal Justice and a tenured professor of police administration at Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania, where he administered the state’s largest regional municipal police academy. He also served as chairman of criminal justice programs at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa, from 1970 to 1972.
“He was a real professional with a deep sense of justice and fairness,” SWT spokesman Mark Hendricks said. “He did an excellent job leading the SWT Police Department and establishing that department as one of the best university police departments in the country. He will be missed by the entire SWT community.”
Throughout his career, Megerson served as a consultant and trainer of police chiefs and police supervisors in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Dakota, Illinois and Iowa.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement and psychology from Central Missouri State University and a master’s degree in counseling from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.
Megerson is survived by his wife, Nancy, and three children. Funeral arrangements and a planned memorial service have not yet been set.