Command Staff

  • Chief of Police Edward Stephens has been with Kennesaw State University since 1992. Chief Stephens earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and a Master of Public Administration from KSU. He is also a graduate of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College. Prior to serving at KSU, Chief Stephens served ten years with the Georgia Army National Guard. Chief 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, and 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. Chief Stephens is also a part-time instructor in the Department of First-year and Transition Studies at KSU.

  • Trudi Vaughan is the Deputy Chief for the Kennesaw State University, Department of Public Safety and University Police. Deputy Chief Vaughan holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She is a graduate of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College. Deputy Chief Vaughan attained her Master's degree in Public Safety Administration from Columbus State University in 2016. She has served in law enforcement since 1993, joining KSU in 2009 and currently is responsible for the following areas: Uniform Patrol Division(UPD), Criminal Investigations Division (CID), Administrative Operations Division (AOD), and the Special Operations Division (SOD). She is the departmental liaison for Human Resources related issues. Deputy Chief Vaughan holds certifications in intermediate, advanced, supervision, management, General and Senior Instructor, Firearms Instructor, EVOC 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. Deputy Chief Vaughan was honored with the R.A.D. Systems, Inc., Susan B. Anthony award in 2019 for ten years of dedicated service.

  • 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 is the director of the Office of Victim Services at Kennesaw State University. Smith graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from KSU. She attained her master's degree in Public Safety Administration from Columbus State University in 2016. Additionally, Smith is a graduate of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College. 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, Georgia P.O.S.T. General instructor, 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 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 Michael Centola is the commander over the Criminal Investigations Division and has served in the field of law enforcement since 1996. He joined the KSU Police Department in 2009. He has also served on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
  • Duane Manns is the Administrative Operations Division Commander for the Kennesaw State University Department of Public Safety and University Police. Captain Manns holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia Southern University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He is a graduate of Class #399 of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety School of Police Staff & Command (SPSC). Captain Manns started his law enforcement career in 1993, joining KSU DPS & University Police in 2015, and he currently provides oversight and direction of the following areas: Office of Professional Standards, Departmental Training, Support Services, Clery Compliance and Records, and Accreditation. Captain Manns has earned GA P.O.S.T. advanced certifications in management, supervision, general instructor, firearms instructor, defensive tactics instructor, and emergency medical instructor. Having been S.W.A.T. trained, he frequently contributes to the tactical training of the Department’s officers. Captain Manns is an avid martial artist with more than 20 years of experience in self-defense training and instruction; he is a Gracie Survival Tactics instructor and serves as the Department’s primary defensive tactics instructor. Serving the community is a high priority for Captain Manns, and he can be found participating in community town halls and panel discussions on social issues, as well as providing instruction in R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) and C.R.A.S.E. (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events). He is a member in good standing with G.A.L.E.F.I. (Georgia Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors) and G.I.A.I.A. (Georgia Internal Affairs Investigators Association). Captain Manns has earned several awards over his law enforcement career, to include a 2016 Community Service Award from KSU DPS & University Police, and a 2014 Public Safety Recognition Award from the Cobb Chamber of Commerce for excellence in public safety.
  • 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.
  • Captain Ashley Richardson is the Commander of Uniform Patrol. 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. In addition to her responsibilities over patrol, Captain Richardson also oversees the department's Community Affairs programs.
  • 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.
  • Originally from Tennessee, Debra earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Memphis. She moved to Georgia to be closer to family; and in 2017 she completed her Master of Public Administration at KSU. She is currently working on a graduate certificate in leadership and ethics. Debra started her career at KSU working in Financial Aid, and later transferred to the Department of Public Safety as our Business Manager.
  • Heather Tucker is the Clery Compliance Director/Records Manager, as well as the department’s Open Records Officer for the Kennesaw State University Department of Public Safety. Heather has been with the department since 2007, where she began her career as a student assistant. In 2008, Heather became the Head Records Coordinator for the department and promoted to Records Manager in 2013. Heather became the Clery Director in 2018 after excelling in her previous positions. Heather graduated from Kennesaw State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, concentration in Forensic Behavioral Science, as well as a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice. She is also a certified R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) instructor.
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