Command Staff

Roger Lee Stearns
Chief of Police
Assistant Vice President

Chief Roger Lee Stearns is the Assistant Vice President for Public Safety.  Chief Stearns has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Arkansas, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, session #235.  He joined KSU as Chief of Police in 2014, and has been serving in campus safety and law enforcement since 1992. Prior to joining KSU, Chief Stearns served 5 years as the Chief of Police with the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Texas.  His prior service includes the University of Arkansas, University of Texas at Dallas, and as Police Major with the Vanderbilt University Police Department. Chief Stearns is the 2014 recipient of the IACLEA Administrative Excellence Award; and a recipient of the President's Lifetime Volunteer Service Award.  Chief Stearns achieved a TCLEOSE Master Peace Officer and Law Enforcement Instructor certification.  He currently serves as the Southeast Representative International Association of Campus Crime Prevention Practitioners (IACCPP).  The Chief has served as the National Service Team Chair, National Law Enforcement Exploring Committee (NLEEC) since 2009; and is a Past-President of the Texas Law Enforcement Explorer Advisor Association (TLEEAA),  At KSU he completed the 2015 KSU Excel Leadership Program, and serves as a representative on the KSU Administrators Council.  Chief Stearns began his career as a Police Explorer and is an Eagle Scout, with over 35 years of service with the Boy Scouts of America.

Edward Stephens
Deputy Chief of Police

Deputy Chief of Police Edward Stephens has been with Kennesaw State University since 1992. Deputy Stephens earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and a Master’s of Public Administration from KSU. He is also a graduate of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College. Prior to serving at KSU, Deputy Stephens served ten years with the Georgia Army National Guard. Deputy Stephens is a Certified Firearms Instructor through the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, holds an Advanced Certificate with the Georgia POST, is a Senior Training Instructor, as well as a Departmental Training Officer. He currently is the President of the Georgia Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, is a member of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. Deputy Stephens is also a part-time instructor in the Department of First-year and Transition Studies at KSU.

Trudi Vaughan
Assistant Chief of Police

Trudi Vaughan is the Assistant Chief for the Kennesaw State University, Department of Public Safety and University Police.  Assistant Chief Vaughan holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University and is currently attending Georgia Law Enforcement Command College. She also anticipates attaining a Master degree in Public Safety Administration from Columbus State University in May 2016. She has served in law enforcement since 1993, joining KSU in 2009 and currently leads the Office of Professional Standards, and has responsibility for the Research and Planning Unit, Office of Victim Services, Recruitment and Selection, Internal Affairs, Training Unit, Field Training Officer Program,  Community Affairs Program (R.A.D., Explorers, Citizens Police Academy, etc.), and Special Response Team (SRT). She is the departmental liaison for Human Resources related issues.  Assistant Chief Vaughan holds certifications in supervision, General and Senior Instructor, Firearms Instructor, EVOC instructor, Taser Instructor, and RAD instructor. She was a member of the 15th Delegation of GILEE and a GILEE graduate.  She has served on the F.B.I.-Joint Terrorism Task Force, served on and commanded  a S.W.A.T. team, and is currently serving as the State of Georgia Director for RAD Systems, Inc.  She has been awarded numerous awards during her law enforcement career, including 2014 Supervisor of the Year at Kennesaw State University DPS.

Andy Altizer
Director of Emergency Management

Andy Altizer has been the Director of Emergency Management at KSU since January 2015. Before coming to KSU, he was the Director of Emergency Preparedness for eight years at Georgia Tech. He was the Critical Infrastructure Protection Program Manager at Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) for over four years. He has also worked in student affairs at several other campuses, including most recently as the Assistant Dean of Community Life at Oglethorpe University. He has a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Missouri, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Truman State University.

Tanya Smith
Director of Victim Services

Tanya Smith is the director of the Office of Victim Services at Kennesaw State University. Smith graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice from KSU. She has served in law enforcement since 1994, retiring from the Holly Springs Police Department as a Lieutenant before joining KSU in 2014.  During her law enforcement tenure at the Holly Springs Police Department, she commanded two divisions - Criminal Investigations and Administrative Services/Office of Professional Standards - while also serving as the department’s public spokesman, terminal agency coordinator, and certification manager.  She was successful in gaining state certification for the Holly Springs Police Department, earning her an achievement award presented by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.  Other notable awards and recognitions include a 2014 Award of Excellence from Kennesaw State University for her work in building the first victim services division at KSU, and implementing the first opioid overdose prevention program for law enforcement in the State of Georgia which supplies police officers with the lifesaving drug, Naloxone.  This program earned a nomination, ultimately a finalist, for the Dr. Curtis E. McClung/Motorola Award of Excellence in 2015, which honors achievements in innovative training program(s) with widespread implications on community/department and the law enforcement profession. She holds certifications in supervision, management, intermediate law enforcement, is a NAVP Intermediate Advocate, and is a Comprehensive Intervention Specialist. Her associations include Alpha Phi Sigma, Golden Key International Honors Society, National Scholars Honor Society, Police Executive Research Forum, the National Organization for Victim Assistance, Georgia Police Accreditation Coalition, Georgia Association of Terminal Agency Coordinators, and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.

Wayne Smith
Manager of Public Safety Systems

Wayne Smith is the Director of the Office of Public Safety Systems. Before coming to KSU, he worked for the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, serving in several capacities, including Operations Division Director, Infrastructure and Applied Technology Program Manager within the Homeland Security Division, and Communications Manager within the Operations Division. His local government experience includes public administration, emergency management, 9-1-1 and law enforcement. He earned his undergraduate degree from Western Carolina University and his graduate degree from Georgia State University.

Captain Tim Murphy
Special Operations Commander

Timothy S. Murphy is the Captain of Special Operations at Kennesaw State University.  Captain Murphy has served the public at KSU since 1997. Having studied at Kennesaw State University and Columbia Southern.  He is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. He holds intermediate, advanced, supervision, management and senior instructor certifications with the Georgia POST. He is the primary mobile field force instructor. Outside of his KSU service, Captain Murphy brings history to life as a Civil War reenactor.

Captain Ashley Richardson
Clery Compliance Manager

Captain Ashley Richardson is the KSU Clery Compliance Manager and the Precinct Commander for the Marietta campus. Captain Richardson worked with Cobb County Sheriff’s Office 6 years, Southern Polytechnic State University Police 5 years and has served the public at KSU since 2014. She is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. She possesses her Georgia POST Instructor, supervision and management certificates. She is also a certified R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) Instructor educating the college community on risk and reduction techniques.

Captain Finn Ahlberg
Criminal Investigations Commander

Captain Finn Ahlberg is the Commander of Criminal Investigations at Kennesaw State University. Captain Ahlberg has a Bachelor’s of Criminal Justice from Loyola University in New Orleans, LA, and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Southwest University in Louisiana. Prior to joining KSU in 2015, Captain Ahlberg served as a Senior Special Agent for The United States Secret Service from 1990 to 2014. Captain Ahlberg served three years as the Secret Service Representative with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Atlanta, and was nominated for the “Outstanding American by Choice” Award by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Captain Ahlberg was also selected for the Senior Special Agent Program Designation by the United States Secret Service Director, Mike Sullivan. He is bilingual/Fluent Spanish Speaker (DLPT), certified with the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute (DODPI), and a U.S. Secret Service Certified Physical Fitness Coordinator. His affiliated associations include the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), the Association of Former Agents with the U.S. Secret Service (AFAUSSS), and the American Polygraph Association (APA). Additionally, Captain Ahlberg is an avid and competitive runner. Between 2006 and 2014, Ahlberg was the team captain for two (2) Secret Service running teams that competed annually in the National Police Challenge 50 Kilometer Relay race (NPC-50) in Beltsville, MD during National Police Week. Ahlberg's teams (Heavy Acceleration and Stealth Mode) never lost a race. Both teams remained undefeated upon Ahlberg's retirement from the Secret Service.

Captain Jeanette Vetter
Uniformed Patrol Commander

Jeannette Vetter is the Commander over the Uniform Patrol Division. She has 30 years of public safety experience.  She joined KSU in 2016 after 20 years with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office where she served a Precinct Commander. While at Cherokee she was the Commander of the Hostage Negotiation Team, Project Lifesaver Field Coordinator, Marijuana Examiner/Expert, and a member of the Crime Scene Response Unit. She earned several commendations and awards to include: Citation for Bravery Award, Life Saving Award, Meritorious Service Award, and Community Crime Prevention Award. Captain Vetter holds Georgia POST certifications for field training officer, crime scene technician, intermediate, advanced, senior deputy, supervisory, managerial, and general instructor. Captain Vetter earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public and Social Services from Kennesaw State University and a Master of Public Administration from Columbus State University.  She is also a national command school graduate from the Southern Police Institute.

James Westbrook
Assistant Director of Emergency Management

James Westbrook has been at Kennesaw State since August of 2013 and has served as Assistant Director since the creation of the Office of Emergency Management in January 2015. Prior to joining KSU, James worked at the Georgia Emergency Management Agency for over seven years in both the State Emergency Communications Center and as a School Safety Coordinator. He also has a background in 911 operations, hazardous materials, and the fire services. James holds a Master of Science degree in Emergency Management from Jacksonville State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Georgia.

Lacie Tidwell
Business Manager 

Lacie Tidwell joined Kennesaw State University in May 2011. With over 12 years of professional accounting experience Ms. Tidwell has proven her effectiveness at managing accounts and financial compliance in both local and state government. Currently Ms. Tidwell manages all business operations for Kennesaw State University's Department of Public Safety and the Office of Emergency Management. Ms. Tidwell has an Associate in Arts from Gulf Coast State College.