Atlanta Police Department Deputy Chief Named Chief of University Police at Georgia State

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Joseph P. Spillane, deputy chief of the Atlanta Police Department (APD), has been appointed chief of the Georgia State University Police Department.

Joseph Spillane

Joseph P. Spillane, deputy chief of the Atlanta Police Department (APD), has been appointed chief of the Georgia State University Police Department.

“Joe Spillane’s vast experience in law enforcement makes him the ideal chief to head Georgia State’s Police Department,” said Mark Becker, president of Georgia State. “His distinguished 28-year career in the Atlanta Police Department has given him an in-depth knowledge of our city, its communities and the role of technology in promoting safety and security. I know he will use the working relationships he has developed over his career to build and strengthen collaboration between Atlanta police and our department, a partnership that is fundamental to our deep commitment to campus safety.

“The communications skills he has demonstrated throughout his career will be central to building relationships among our students, faculty and staff and providing parents, families, the news media and others with timely, accurate and useful campus safety information.”

A decorated veteran with nearly 30 years of experience policing the streets of Atlanta, Spillane graduated from the police academy as the valedictorian of his class in 1988. He quickly rose through the ranks, serving in five of the city’s six precincts and becoming deputy chief in 2013, when he was appointed to oversee the APD’s strategic crime fighting initiatives.
Spillane twice earned the APD’s Meritorious Service Medal, the department’s second highest commendation, once for removing residents from a burning building and another time for removing a critically wounded man from a basement after a shootout and obtaining medical attention for him. A former instructor at the Atlanta Police Academy, Spillane has also earned multiple certifications from the Georgia Peace Officer Training and Standards Council, among others.

Spillane earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from Saint Leo (Fla.) University.

"As the new chief of police for Georgia State University I am very excited about joining the Georgia State University team and look forward to ensuring Georgia State continues to improve the safety and security of all our campuses," Spillane said.

The university conducted a national search for an experienced law enforcement professional as part of its comprehensive effort to improve security at its Atlanta and metro Atlanta campuses. Former Police Chief Connie Sampson, who led the department as associate vice president for university police and building services, now oversees building services exclusively.

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Leah Seupersad
Georgia State University
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