Dave McElreath

Professor of Criminal Justice & Legal Studies


David Hughes McElreath is a Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Mississippi. A native of Oxford, Mississippi, he comes from a law enforcement family. He began his law enforcement career in December 1972 when he was appointed a Patrolman for the Oxford, Mississippi Police Department. Over the next five decades, his active law enforcement, corrections, military, and academic career includes time as an Oxford, Mississippi Police Officer, Missouri State Park Ranger, and Deputy Sheriff with Forrest County, Mississippi Sheriff’s Department.

As a college/university faculty member, his academic appointments have included criminal justice faculty member or department chair with Itawamba Community College, Southeast Missouri State University, University of Southern Mississippi, the Marine Corps University, Washburn University, and currently the University of Mississippi.

Balancing his Criminal Justice career, he served over thirty years in the United States Army/Mississippi National Guard, United States Marine Corps, and National Guard of Mississippi, retiring from the National Guard of Mississippi in 2016 after serving as Commanding General of the Mississippi State Guard, which is a component of the Mississippi Military Department with the Mississippi Army National Guard and the Mississippi Air Guard. His military and Department of Defense/Department of State contractor service included tours in Eastern Europe within the former Warsaw Pact Nations with the Partners in Peace initiative as well as deployments into Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.

Very active within the community, he is the former Chairperson of the Mississippi State Crime Stoppers Board, and currently serves on the Board for the Lafayette County Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy, Mississippi Veterans’ Affairs Board, Mississippi Veterans’ Council, the Oxford and Lafayette County Crime Stoppers Board, Lafayette County Law Enforcement Officers Board member. and serves on the faculty of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police/Federal Bureau of Investigation Command College.

In 2008, he received the “Mississippi Patriot Award” from the Mississippi Military Department, was twice awarded the Mississippi Magnolia Cross for his service to Mississippi, and in 2016 selected as the Mississippi Crime Stopper Volunteer of the Year. In addition to those and various other honors, he was inducted into the University of Mississippi Army ROTC Hall of Fame.

He has served as faculty advisor for various student organizations to include, including the Order of the Sword and Shield (Homeland Security Honor Society), Pi Gamma Mu (Social Science Honor Society), Campus Republicans (Ole Miss), Washburn Veterans’Club, Kappa Sigma (Washburn University). He is the author or co-author of fourteen textbooks and numerous other professional publications in the field of criminal justice, corrections, intelligence, emergency management, and homeland security and serves as a reviewer for several criminal justice journals.

He lives outside Oxford, Mississippi in the College Hill community with his wife, Leisa Stuart McElreath formerly of Hazlehurst and Jackson, Mississippi. They have three daughters and two grandsons and one granddaughter


BPA Law Enforcement, The University of Mississippi (1975)

MCJ Law Enforcement, The University of Mississippi (1979)

Ph.D. Adult Education, University of Southern Mississippi (1985)