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New chief of police arrives Feb. 1

APSUs seven-month search for a director of public safety/chief of police has come to an end.

Lantz M. Biles of Augusta, Ga., accepted the position on Friday, Jan. 13. He will take the helm of the Universitys public safety/campus police department on Feb. 1.

Members of the Universitys selection committee say Biles was unquestionably the most qualified of 35 applicants competing for the position.
APSU's seven-month search for a director of public safety/chief of police has come to an end.

Lantz M. Biles of Augusta, Ga., accepted the position on Friday, Jan. 13. He will take the helm of the University's public safety/campus police department on Feb. 1.

Members of the University's selection committee say Biles was unquestionably the most qualified of 35 applicants competing for the position.

“He was clearly the best in terms of experience and overall personality,” says Mitch Robinson, vice president for finance and administration, noting Biles' extensive training and helpful attitude. “We were especially attracted to his emphasis on community-oriented policing, including crime prevention and workshops. He's exactly what we need to move the campus police department forward.”

A former Army investigator with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a master's degree in justice administration, Biles already is planning to put more than a decade of campus security experience to good use.

“One thing I would like to look at is developing and enhancing crime-prevention programs on campus,” he says. “I would like to better inform students and the campus as to what programs are available, and involve them in a way that will allow us to meet their needs and wants.”

Selection committee member Kenneth Maddox, assistant director of housing and residence life, expects APSU's campus police officers will welcome such initiatives.

“I think the department will enjoy having the new chief and being able to move ahead with some of their initiatives, such as getting new hires in the department and strengthening programs like Operation I.D. and student escort services,” says Maddox, APSU's assistant director of housing/resident life and dining services.

Robinson says the greatest challenge of the position, which has been vacant for more than seven months, relates to officer retention.

“The biggest challenge (Biles) will face initially is addressing turnover issues in the campus police department and the reasons we have not been able to retain officers as well as we should,” he says.

Serving as department director for the first time in his career, Biles is enthusiastic.

“I think serving as chief of police will be interesting and challenging, but I'll have wonderful people to work with,” he says. “All around, I expect it to be a great experience.”

Biles will be joined by his wife, Grace, and sons Michael, 18, and Nigel, 8.

He previously served as shift supervisor/training sergeant at Knoxville College, patrol supervisor/crime prevention officer for the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, patrol supervisor for the Medical College of Georgia and manager of parking and transportation services for the Medical College of Georgia.

For further information, telephone the Office of Finance and Administration at (931) 221-7883.
—Terry Stringer