Inglewood Police Department veteran Hampton Cantrell has begun serving in his new position of chief of public safety at Loyola Marymount University (LMU).

Cantrell, who officially took office late last month, replaces Raymond Hilyar, who served as chief for more than 20 years.

The new LMU public safety chief had served as an officer with the Inglewood Police Department since 1984 and had been a captain since 1999.

He received his undergraduate degree in political science and social ecology from the University of California at Irvine and studied for one year in the University of Southern California’s M.B.A. program. Cantrell went on to earn his juris doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law and was admitted into the California State Bar in June 1998.

After an interview process that involved multiple candidates, the interviewing committee chose Cantrell to fill the position.

“I am extremely honored that LMU selected me to be its chief of public safety,” Cantrell said. “I plan to be a visible and responsive member of the LMU community.”

Asked what his number-one priority will be, Cantrell said, “The safety of the students. Ultimately, they are why we — the faculty, staff and administration — are here.”

Among Cantrell’s other goals will be enhancement of LMU’s emergency preparedness plans, campus parking and traffic circulation, and LMU neighborhood relations.