SEPTA today announced that Charles “Chuck” Lawson has been appointed as the Chief of SEPTA Transit Police, effective Sunday, May 14. Lawson had been serving as Acting Police Chief since July 5, 2022. He will report to Chief Operating Officer Scott Sauer.
Chief Lawson will oversee all activities related to the operation of SEPTA Transit Police, including law enforcement and crime prevention. He will coordinate all security functions related to the protection of SEPTA employees, riders, and property.
“Chuck’s three decades of dedication to the authority makes him the ideal candidate to address the challenges we face on our system every day,” said SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards. “Under his leadership, we will continue to enhance our safety and security efforts, ensuring the best environment for our employees and riders.”
Lawson has been with SEPTA Transit Police for over 29 years. He started his career in 1993 as a Patrol Officer, and has consistently risen through the ranks. Prior to his appointment as Acting Chief, Lawson served as a SEPTA Transit Police Inspector, the department’s second-highest ranking role.
In his previous roles, Lawson was instrumental in the implementation of the Body-Worn Camera Program and the establishment of SEPTA’s Transit Watch App. During his 10-month tenure as Acting Chief, Lawson created SEPTA’s first Virtual Patrol Unit, utilizing the Authority’s extensive camera network to assist in crime prevention.
“Thanks to all of these efforts, Chuck is overseeing SEPTA’s largest officer recruitment class in more than 20 years, increasing our patrol ranks by more than 10%,” said SEPTA Chief Operating Officer Scott Sauer. “Having worked in every department within SEPTA Transit Police, Chuck is uniquely equipped to lead these new hires, as well as our existing officers.”
“I look forward to serving SEPTA Transit Police in my new role,” said SEPTA Transit Police Chief Charles Lawson. “The safety and security of SEPTA’s employees and riders has always been my top priority.”
Lawson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Peirce College. He also received his School of Police Staff and Command Certification from Northwestern University and Certificate in Leadership and Management for Law from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).