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Briggs Steps down as Lander University Police Chief – Allen Assumes New Role as Chief


In the mid-1980s, Eddie Briggs was a Lieutenant with the Greenwood City Police Department - and the first time he set foot on the Lander University campus was like being transported into a different world.

"The Greenwood City officers used to work at Lander part-time and we didn't even carry guns on campus then," he said. "Even though those times have gone, I still miss that part of it."

Now it is Briggs' turn to be missed, as he stepped down on August 1 as the Lander Chief of Police.

Briggs' resignation came five years after being promoted to Chief, and 33 years since his first day as a Greenwood officer in 1984.

When asked why he was leaving now, Briggs simply said, "It's time."

"Part of my reason is that I want to spend more time with family," he said. "And, recent shoulder surgery kind of indicated to me that now was time to stop."

Randy Bouknight, who served 39 years as vice president for Student Affairs, said Briggs is not only a good friend, but that he will be hard to replace.

"Eddie is well respected by students, staff, and faculty," Bouknight said. "His leadership will be missed."

LUPD Capt. Greg Allen, who has worked with Briggs in his entire 11 years at Lander, added that Briggs "has been a great mentor for me."

"Chief Briggs is not only very knowledgeable with law enforcement, he is knowledgeable about so many other things, which has always amazed me," Allen said. "I have always admired how he can always stay a step ahead of many issues before they become an 'issue.'"

For example, Bouknight pointed out that it was Briggs who began the initiative to have all officers wear body-worn cameras while on duty.

"He also implemented officer training programs, community policing, and the initial installation of surveillance cameras on campus," Bouknight said.

Part of Briggs' own specialty areas within law enforcement are detection, the use of firearms, defense tactics and driving.

In 2007, three years after coming to Lander from the City of Greenwood, Briggs was promoted to assistant chief - and then six years later to full Chief upon the retirement of Ray Manley.

Since that time, Briggs' influence led to increased officer training, modernizing the force's police equipment, and keeping the campus at a consistently low crime rate.

But of all his accomplishments, Briggs said the one he values above all is knowing that he played a role in helping many young people develop into adults.

"Campus law enforcement is different than that in a city - in the sense that you have a closer relationship with the people because you see them on a daily basis," Briggs said. "Most of the people are here to improve their lives, and the officers here are a big part in making that happen. And it was an honor for me to be part of that."

Changing of the Guard

Greg-Allen-0196.jpgAround the same time that Briggs was promoted to assistant chief in 2007, police corporal Greg Allen arrived on the Lander campus as a new officer.

He had just completed his seventh year as a law officer, previously serving with the S.C. Department of Probation Pardon and Parole, and with the Abbeville County Sheriff's Department.

Over the next six years at LUPD, Allen worked as an Investigative Sergeant before his promotion to the rank of captain in 2013.

Now, with Briggs' retirement on August 1, Allen became Lander's new interim Chief of Police.

Greg Lovins, Lander's Chief Financial Officer, said Lander could not be in more capable hands with this change of police leadership.

"Capt. Allen was the perfect choice," Lovins said. "His personable communication abilities allow him to build and maintain excellent relationships with students, faculty and staff. At the same time, he possesses the law enforcement experience and expertise needed to make tough decisions necessary to keep Lander's campus safe."

Allen's promotion came on the heels of being recognized as Lander's employee of the month this past May, the fourth recipient of a new 2018 initiative.

His first major duty as Chief was conducting a three-hour Active Shooter Training/Scenario on campus August 1 for staff and faculty.

When asked the most important element that he brings to his new position, interim Chief Allen summed it up in one word: trust.

"It is a different task in taking over the new duties as Police Chief, but I look forward to working with everyone in the Lander family," Allen said. "We will to do our best to continue to keep our community safe - and l would personally like to thank Chief Briggs for his great service here and all that he has meant to the officers in this department."