Gillilan brings fresh ideas and decades of experience to UNA

Chief Gillian answers his daily emails and fills out paperwork for the beginning of the year. He said he wants to hear the concerns of the students, faculty and staff.

by News Editor Anna Brown

Kevin Gillilan brings 20 years of diverse law enforcement experience and a passion for campus safety to UNA as he begins his first semester as the chief of police this fall.

Gillilan said he has many ideas to increase campus safety and educate students on preventing campus crime.

“I’m thinking some regular interaction and meetings with the students might increase the level of security on campus,” he said.

With campus safety in mind, he said he plans to continue UNA’s student education programs such as A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) and R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense). He also said he is interested in starting a campus watch program similar to Neighborhood Watch.

College is an educational experience and Gillilan said he believes this educational component should be part of campus policing.

“Instead of opting to prosecute someone, we might send them through student conduct and try to correct behavior in a way that’s more rehabilitative than punitive,” he said.

Although patrolling is part of campus policing, he said he thinks campus officers should provide more “customer services” to students.

“We try to provide many services that you won’t find in a municipality,” he said. “For example, if you call a municipal police department, they’re not going to come out and help you get your car started. A lot of our population is made of students who are mainly young and there’s a lot of things they haven’t experienced yet.”

He said professionalism within the department is important even for campus police forces. He said he wants to continue professionalizing the police department by seeking accreditation through the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA).

“That’s the national standard for professionalism for police agencies and I think we can do that,” he said. “That would be a staple for not only the department but for the university to show students, faculty, staff and parents that we are an accredited police agency.”

Through his experiences working on a college campus, Gillilan said he found greater purpose in pursuing his own education.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and police science from Samford University, a master’s degree in criminal justice and law enforcement administration from Faulkner University and only lacks completion of his dissertation to finish his doctorate degree in criminal justice administration.

“I don’t want to just follow other people’s lead, I want to base my decisions on current, best practices and I want to be able to back it up with my research,” he said. “By relying on those two things, you make a more sound decision. I not only understand what I need to do, I understand why I need to do it.”

Gillilan said he thinks his experiences in both types of police work helped him learn important training skills, law enforcement technologies and the ability to connect with civilians on a personal level.

“Through the combination of both sides, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge about emergency management and mitigating risks,” Gillilan said.

Gillilan previously served as chief of police at three universities including Samford University, Talladega College and the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. He also served as the Police capitan at Southside Police Department in Southside, Ala., and as an investigator at Moody Police Department in Moody, Ala.