Lt. Chris Houtz, a 16-year veteran of the Lehigh University Police Department, was named LUPD assistant chief, effective July 1. He succeeds former Assistant Chief Stu Bedics, who retired from Lehigh earlier this year after a long career in law enforcement, including serving as chief of the Bethlehem Police Department.
In making the announcement, LUPD Chief Ed Shupp lauded Houtz’s dedication to Lehigh and to campus safety.
“As anyone who has worked with Lt. Houtz knows, his commitment to his role in promoting a safe Lehigh campus is unquestionable,” Shupp said. “We are confident that he is well-prepared to take on this new role and that he will continue to provide the level of excellence that has characterized his entire career.”
In 2015, Houtz, then sergeant with the LUPD, received the Jeanne Clery Award for Campus Safety at the Looking Back, Moving Forward: 25 Years of the Jeanne Clery Act Conference held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. He was selected from a national field of roughly 50 nominees. Twice named “Officer of the Year” at Lehigh, Houtz was promoted to lieutenant in December 2016. He also has a background in fire and emergency response and has served as adviser to Lehigh’s Emergency Medical Service group.
Born and raised in nearby Catasauqua, where he graduated from Catasauqua High School, Houtz began serving in emergency services at the age of 14. He followed his passion for helping people throughout his career, serving as a police communications officer with the Pennsylvania State Police and a patrolman with the Coplay Police Department and the Slatington Police Department before joining the LUPD in 2001.