Hunt for new public safety chief winds down

Written by: Will Slaten

Georgia College has been on the hunt for a new chief of public safety since early this summer and the committee is finally getting close to choosing the right person for the job.

The vacancy came when former chief of police Scott Beckner left the position in early July of this past summer. Beckner, a GC employee since 2011, accepted a position at the University of Indiana as the assistant vice president and director of public safety.

Mike Duclos, director of facilities operations for GC, said that because the process of finding a chief of police is an active and ongoing search, not much information has been made public yet. Since Beckner’s absence in July, there have been two interim police chiefs that have filled the position temporarily.

Officer Mitchell Jones is the current interim chief of police, having accepted the position in August. The hiring process for the position hinges on a committee of professors and faculty selected to review and eventually choose the most qualified candidate. The list of requirements for the job is long, but the committee has managed to get the number of viable applicants down to three.

“The responsibilities are similar to any municipal law enforcement agency, but campus police chiefs have to adhere to additional federal and state standards that apply specifically to colleges,” Jones said. According to Officer Hatcher of GC Public Safety, the police staff has already met the potential candidates and were given a chance to speak with them.

Campus police officers are trained just like other officers from state municipalities, however, they have the luxury of campus organizations such as the student judicial programs and the counseling center. They must also abide by federal standards such as Title IX and the Clery Act, which ensures campus crime statistics are transparent.

There is not a specific date set to have a permanent chief of police on staff, but the fact that the number of prospects has been whittled down to three is indicative of the process coming to an end.

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