Volume 47, Number 12 - February 16, 2010

About the Reporter

Giselle Heraux
Giselle Heraux
Staff Writer

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Picture new leader
IN THE OFFICE: Hector Garcia, director of School of Justice, poses in his new office.

School of Justice under new leadership

By Giselle Heraux

This semester, Hector Garcia will take the post of director for the School of Justice, replacing former director, Ron Grimming, who recently moved to California. 

As the director, Garcia will be responsible for five major components: the academic program, which consists of the associate of science and bachelor’s degrees, the basic academy and career development, the fire science and environmental science, the assessment center, and the MDC police department.

“My job is to make sure all individual programs are all performing at the levels that they need to perform at in accordance with both the MDC vision and the individual department’s goals and missions,” Garcia said.

Garcia said that he wants to keep the traditions of the school, but he also wants to improve the program through expanding their use of on-line learning.

“I would still like to keep the tradition of excellence in everything that we do,” Garcia said. “But, I still want to embrace innovation.”

With a master’s degree in criminal justice administration and a doctorate in organizational leadership, Garcia’s range of experience runs from being a police officer in West Palm Beach, to the first director of safety and security for the Sarasota school district, and a former chief of school police in Las Vegas, where he was responsible for 330,000 students and 50,000 employees.

Despite his passion for law enforcement, he also has a love for teaching.

“My dream was always to teach and I wanted to start teaching full time,” Garcia said.

Garcia moved back to Florida and began teaching criminal justice and security management at the undergraduate and graduate levels both online and at a local university.

Garcia discovered a job posting for the MDC North Campus School of Justice director position and decided to apply. He was successful.

“For me it’s great,” Garcia said. “I get to work with students and with law enforcement my two loves combined in the perfect position.”

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