Success Story

Justice Alumnus Rises to the Top

The New Lancaster, Pennsylvania, police chief is Community College of Philadelphia adjunct professor and alumnus Keith Sadler, who until his April 2 resignation was chief of detectives for the Philadelphia Police Department.

The Philadelphia native earned his associate’s degree attending the College’s classes at the Police Academy in Northeast Philadelphia.

“My degree from Community College of Philadelphia helped me to move up within the Philadelphia police force,” Sadler said. “It enabled me to create my own path.

” As Philadelphia’s chief of detectives, he was in charge of more than 790 detectives and uniformed police officers working in the Homicide Division, Major Crimes Unit, Special Victims Division and the Gun Permits Unit.

In Lancaster, Sadler will oversee a roughly 175-officer department that serves a community of 60,000.

He joined the Philadelphia Police Department in 1981 and has served as chief of Patrol, chief of Narcotics and chief of the Forensic Science Bureau. He was promoted to sergeant in 1986, lieutenant in 1989, captain in 1994 and inspector in 1997.

Sadler is strongly committed to education and training. In addition to his associate’s degree in Justice from the College, he holds a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from Alvernia College, where he graduated summa cum laude, and a master’s in Urban Education from Alvernia. Sadler currently is pursuing a Ph.D. in Education Leadership at Alvernia. He also is an adjunct professor at Alvernia and a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society.

Tom Doyle, assistant professor and coordinator of the Justice curriculum, as well as a retired commanding officer in the Philadelphia Police Department, has known Sadler for 20 years and describes him as a dedicated and conscientious individual.

"He has provided guidance and assistance to many students both at the police academy and in the police department to help them achieve their goals,” Doyle said.

"My degree from Community College of Philadelphia...enabled me to create my own path"
Keith Sandler


Sadler, 48, has been a lifelong Philadelphia resident and believes the city and the police department to be the greatest in the country. However, he is ready to explore a new challenge, which will include controlling crime in a growing area. The new job means he and his wife, a school teacher, and two children, ages 14 and 11, must move to Lancaster. Three grown children will remain in Philadelphia.