GC hired Rob Seacrist as the new interim police chief on Jan. 7.
Seacrist has spent most of his life in law enforcement after serving in Vietnam, when he began to work in undercover narcotics.
It wasn’t until he became a school resource officer that he realized his true calling.
“Dealing with teachers and students, I suddenly realized, not everyone is a bad guy,” Seacrist said. “There’s a bigger world than just black and white, bad guy, good guy.”
After becoming a resource officer, he decided to stick with it, eventually coming to GC.
Seacrist brings 36 years of being a chief of police at universities, including the Universities of Central Florida in Orlando, West Florida, Texas at San Antonio and Texas Tech University.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in education, a masters degree in sociology and is a graduate FBI national academy.
Seacrist plans to be here for two to three months, depending on how long it takes to hire the next chief. According to Susan Allen, GC Vice President of Finance and Administration, a new chief will be selected soon.
“We have the System Office reviewing all applicants and providing the institutional search committee with 10 finalist,” Allen said. “Next, the search committee will bring four or five candidates to campus, conduct stakeholder surveys and then provide three unranked candidates for hiring consideration. GC Executive Cabinet will discuss the candidates and make a decision.”
“My goal here is to create a safe environment, understanding that nobody can make an environment 100 percent safe,” Seacrist said.
GC police Sgt. Michael Baker, in charge of emergency management, said the presence of interim chief does not reduce the safety of a campus.
“I don’t think [having an interim chief] reduces the safety to the campus community at all, you just don’t have the same point of contact in this position,” Baker said. “We all know the job that needs to be done.”
Seacrist said he tends to enjoy college law enforcement as opposed to municipal law enforcement.
“You deal with good people more than you deal with bad,” Seacrist said. “Being in this [university] environment gives you even more perception that there is more good in the world than bad.”
Seacrist is a musician as well. He plays the guitar, mandolin, harmonica and dobro. He’s been a musician since he was 12 years old, starting with guitar, and plays classic country, classic rock, bluegrass and blues. He is a part of a classic rock band and a bluegrass band in Valdosta.
He has the ability to play by ear and does not read music, which is no easy feat.
“My entire family is musical,” Seacrist said. “My father was a musician. [When] I go to family reunions, there’s always instruments everywhere, and always there’s someone playing something.”