As parents, we constantly worry about our children’s safety while they are away from us at school.  Not only while they are in K-12, but also when they are away at college. Fortunately, there are people who dedicate their lives and careers to public safety. That is just what Tattnall Square Academy alum, Justin Gaines ’01, is doing.

After his 2001 high school graduation, he continued his education at Georgia College & State University (GCSU) obtaining a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in public administration. He also completed Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Basic Mandate at the Middle Georgia Police Academy in Macon, Ga. Gaines has specialized training in many areas, including how to respond to various emergency situations, and is a trained emergency medical responder. Gaines was hired by Georgia College & State University (GCSU) in 2005 as a police officer and has served as the school’s associate director of emergency preparedness since 2011. In that role, Gaines managed and directed a comprehensive emergency preparedness and occupational safety program. While at GCSU, he worked to expand the school’s emergency communications and notifications.  He also commanded emergency response during several real-life situations, including a report of an armed person threatening students, a bomb threat and multiple severe weather threats.

imageRecently, Justin was selected to be the new director of public safety for the University of North Georgia and will begin work in this new role on January 21, 2014. “This is a position of great responsibility, one with which I will not take lightly,” Gaines said. “I consider it my honor and privilege to have the opportunity to lead the Department of Public Safety so that we may protect, serve, and educate the University of North Georgia faculty, staff and students.”

Congratulations, Justin! We wish you much continued success!