Archived Story

Chief Atkinson joining SMC

Published 5:06pm Monday, November 5, 2012

Southwestern Michigan College Monday announced the appointment of Thomas Atkinson as the college’s next chief of staff.  Atkinson will retire from the city of Dowagiac next summer and begin his duties at SMC in July 2013.

Tom Atkinson became Dowagiac police chief in August 1997.

Atkinson is a graduate of Dowagiac Union High School, Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Bethel College. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and Northwestern University’s School of Staff and Command. He has more than 40 years of experience in law enforcement with 25 years being in executive administration.

He was appointed chief of police by the city of Dowagiac in 1997. In 2008, he became director of public safety for the city when the police and fire departments consolidated. Atkinson is a member of the Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital board and also a member of the Lewis Cass Intermediate School District Board of Education.

“The impending retirement of the college’s current chief of staff, John Fannin, along with the scheduled opening of the college’s third student housing facility have provided the opportunity to restructure the chief of staff position to also function as director of campus security,” SMC President David Mathews said. “Tom’s experience in law enforcement, fire safety, planning and crisis management, crime prevention and senior management will all be great assets to the college. In addition to safety and security responsibilities, the chief of staff represents the college with numerous outside organizations and also provides internal coordination and communication in support of the college’s strategic plan. We are truly fortunate to have a person of Tom’s integrity, experience and abilities join the college’s senior leadership team.”


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