Two former Wake County sheriff’s deputies from Garner will lead the new Wake Tech Police Department. Michael Allen Penry was sworn in today as Police Chief; Paul Andrew Quinn was sworn in as major and will serve as Assistant Chief. They will be responsible for the college’s five campuses and two training centers, providing a safe and secure learning environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The goal is to deter crime and mitigate violence – and to be ready if and when an emergency occurs.
“Chief Penry and Major Quinn add an important new level of security to our Wake Tech community,” says Wake Tech President Dr. Stephen Scott. “There’s no doubt that they are the right men to take the helm of this initiative.”
Penry believes in the new department’s mission and knows it is a timely one: “It’s absolutely critical that we take every precaution possible in the current climate,” he says. “We can’t know if or when violence will occur, but we’ll be ready.” Penry is eager to begin and says he looks forward to the opportunity to start a department “from scratch.” His first steps will be to hire a lieutenant, two sergeants, and 10 patrol officers. He will also supervise Wake Tech’s current security officers.
Penry has seven years of experience as a Wake County sheriff’s deputy, having served as a school resource officer at Centennial Campus and Daniels middle schools. Before joining the sheriff’s office, Penry coordinated international mission trips and helped organize humanitarian relief efforts for local churches. He has an undergraduate degree in religion from High Point University and a master’s degree in intercultural studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest.
Major Quinn was a deputy for eight years, and served the past nine months as a school resource officer at Wake Tech’s Main Campus. Before becoming a sheriff’s deputy, he served as a Raleigh police officer.
Wake Tech’s Board of Trustees approved the establishment of the campus police force last month, following 14 other community colleges in the state as well as all universities in the UNC system.