Gadsden State announces chief for new PD

May 30—Gadsden State Community College has named a new police chief for its new police department for the institution.

GSCC announced last Friday that the college's president Dr. Kathy Murphy had appointed Jay Freeman to the position, effective June 26.

Freeman comes with 16 years experience as a police officer, most recently working as a captain under the investigations division at the Southside Police Department. He will be ceremonially sworn in to the position on a date to be announced later.

"In my position as captain at the Southside Police Department, I've had the opportunity to safeguard the well-being of citizens and establish a safe and secure environment," Freeman stated in the release, further commenting that he was eager to "extend this dedication" to the staff and students at GSCC.

Freeman said he's always desired to keep his community safe and has had a strong sense of community service from a young age.

"I've always wanted to be part of something greater than myself," Freeman stated in the news release.

Murphy stated that she was "delighted" to count the chief as part of the GSCC team and expressed optimism in his ability to build a successful unit for the institution's first police department.

"We believe his past work experience and his passion for public safety and security make him the best person for this new role at Gadsden State," Murphy stated in the release.

News came of the school's new police division earlier this year in March, when GSCC announced that the new department would police all five campuses and would merge the existing security department with the newly formed unit. The release stated that the decision was made for the purpose of "increasing the level of protection for the college community."

Gadsden State Community College is the fifth largest community college in the state, according to Community College Review.

The new police on campus will also have arresting power, whereas the former campus security did not, according to the release.

"We can have sworn officers on our campuses who will conduct complex misdemeanor and felony investigations," Murphy stated in the release. "They will have a strong presence that will hinder criminal activity. Just having them on campus should make our students and our employees feel safe and secure."

Freeman's training and experience lends him a unique perspective for managing a police force in an educational environment.

For example, Freeman comes with extensive training with the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association, completing the FBI Instructor Development course, the Command Leadership Institute and the Supervisor Institute, the release states.

Additionally, Freeman teaches as an instructor at JSU's Northeast Alabama Law Enforcement Academy. He also serves as an active shooter instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers.

Staff Writer Ashley Morrison: 256-236-1551. On Twitter: @AshMorrison1105.