Gary Mills appointed chief of Mercer Police

Headshot of Mercer Police Lt. Gary Mills in uniform
Lt. Gary Mills

MACON — Lt. Gary Mills, who has been serving as interim chief of Mercer Police since January, has been appointed chief, effective immediately.

Mills, who will oversee Mercer Police on both the Macon and Atlanta campuses, succeeds longtime Mercer Police Chief Gary Collins, who retired Jan. 16 after 40 years of service to the University.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Mills joined Mercer Police in 2016 after a 30-year career with the Georgia State Patrol. He was promoted to administrative lieutenant at Mercer Police in 2018.

“Since coming to us in 2016, Gary Mills has developed a deep understanding of, and commitment to, the University and its mission,” said President William D. Underwood. “He is a veteran law enforcement professional who has brought to Mercer Police a skill set and temperament that will serve him and the institution well in this critical leadership position. I look forward to working with him in his capacity as chief of Mercer Police.”

At the time of his retirement from GSP in 2015, Mills was a sergeant first class and instructor in the Training Division, where he trained hundreds of state troopers in the 76th through 96th Trooper Schools. He is a graduate of the Law Enforcement Command College at Columbus State University and holds an associate’s degree from Georgia Military College. Prior to becoming a state trooper, Mills was employed by the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy sheriff.

“Following a national search that yielded a number of exceptionally qualified candidates, we concluded that the best person to lead Mercer Police was already on our campus,” said Dr. James S. Netherton, executive vice president for administration and finance. “Chief Mills over the past eight years at Mercer has gained a thorough understanding of our culture and demonstrated a commitment to maintaining safe campuses for students, faculty, staff and visitors. He also has a track record of working with other local law enforcement agencies to achieve our campus safety objectives.”

“It’s an honor to be selected as the police chief at Mercer University,” Mills said. “I’ve been part of the Mercer community for eight years, which has been an invaluable experience preparing me for this leadership role. I appreciate the support and confidence from President Underwood and his team moving forward.”