Since becoming a Lander University police officer in 2007, Greg Allen has held about every position possible within the police department, serving as an investigative sergeant, investigative lieutenant, support service captain and uniform patrol service captain.
Now he can add another title to the list - chief of police.
"I really don't know the words for it," he said about being picked to succeed Eddie Briggs, who retired this summer. "It's a blessing," he said.
Allen, who had been serving as interim chief, said he was "amazed" by the support that he has received. "Lots of people put in a word for me," he said.
Allen's credentials for the top law enforcement job at Lander include a master's degree in criminal justice that he earned in 2017 from Columbia College and a bachelor's in criminal justice that he received from South Carolina State University in 1999. He has also worked as an officer for the Abbeville County Sheriff's Department, as well as the S.C. Department of Probation, Pardon and Parole.
As Lander police chief, he will oversee a staff of 35 people, which includes 13 full-time police officers.
Allen's goals as chief include continuing to build relationships within the community, as well as with all departments, students and guests on campus. Expanding the police department's offerings of educational and safety programs is another goal. One of his long-term goals is to hire students, such as criminology students, to review videos, take notes and participate in patrols with officers.
Allen hopes to inspire trust, both in those he works with and those he serves. A self-described "people person," he believes that "being able to communicate" with people, including those being investigated, is key.
A native of Calhoun Falls, Allen currently resides in Abbeville. He and his wife, Lolita, have two children, Cameron, 11, and Micah, 9.
Lander President Richard Cosentino expressed confidence that Lander's police department is in good hands.
"Greg Allen has served our university, students and employees honorably during his 11 years with the Lander University Police Department. He is highly respected, both on campus and in local law enforcement communities, and I have no doubt that he will do an excellent job in his new role as Lander University's police chief," he said.