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Colleges public safety director gets state honor
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North Hall High School senior Leland Taylor talks about the busy job of applying for colleges.

Gainesville State College's new public safety director has been named the Georgia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators' Member of the Year.

Richard Goodson, who won the honor last year, received the award in November at the organization's annual meeting at Emory University.

The award goes to an association member for outstanding contributions to the organization and campus safety.

"I feel honored to be recognized by my peer chiefs in campus law enforcement, but I am more proud of all that we accomplished during my tenure as president of (the organization)," Goodson said Monday.

With the award, area law enforcers continue to rack up statewide recognition.

Earlier in the year, Hall County Sheriff Steve Cronic was named the Georgia Sheriffs' Association's Sheriff of the Year and Gainesville Police Chief Frank Hooper was named Outstanding Chief of the Year by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.

"I think (the string of awards) really shows not just the talent and ability of law enforcement in this county but the level of commitment to excellence as well," Goodson said.

Goodson, 44, began at Gainesville State on Oct. 15. He previously served as the deputy public safety director at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville.

Goodson earned his bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice from the University of Georgia in Athens and has done graduate work in public administration at GCSU.

He is enrolled in the Command College at Columbus State University, where he is completing his graduate degree in public administration.

Goodson, an Albany native, is working to turn Gainesville State's campus security force into a fully accredited police department in early 2008.

"It is my goal that campus law enforcement be just as professional and capable as our city and county counterparts," he said.

Under his watch as president, the association improved training,improved its Web site, put together a firearms tournament and increased membership and participation, Goodson said.