Mercer University announced Thursday that Chief of Mercer Police Gary Collins would be retiring Jan. 16. Collins has served as a campus safety and campus police officer since 1983, and helped transform the department beyond campus safety into a fully-fledged police force.
Collins' improvements to the department and campus culture have long been in the interest of students, whom he says he regards, in a way, as his own.
MerPo's Lt. Gary Mills will serve as the interim chief until a new officer is appointed.
Mercer University has lost several high profile staff in the past few months, including the previous Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Anita Gustafson and, just yesterday, Football Head Coach Drew Cronic.
Through his many years of service, Chief Collins' leadership has aided in MerPo's address of practical safety improvements, rising and falling tensions with students over parking and protests against police brutality across the country that impacted the way many students felt about the campus police department.
Chief Collins said he was proud he gets to leave behind a legacy of service, and he and his wife are excited to enter his retirement.
Henry Keating '24 is a Journalism and History student at Mercer. He has worked at The Cluster as SGA correspondent, State and Local News Editor, Managing Editor and now as the Editor-in-Chief. Henry has held internships at the Macon Newsroom, Macon Telegraph, and Greenville Post and Courier. He enjoys backpacking, rom-coms, pottery and photography.