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College Officially Names Thomas Forrest Its Director of Law Enforcement Training

By Rob Goldberg Jr.
PCC Media Relations

Thomas ForrestWINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College administrators recently removed the interim label from Thomas Forrest’s title, officially making him the college’s new director of law enforcement training.

Forrest, who began working with PCC’s law enforcement training program in August 2012 as a coordinator and instructor, officially began his director duties Feb. 17. He had been serving in an interim capacity since May 2013, when former Director Jeff Robinson left for Wake Technical Community College.

A Scuffleton native, Forrest will oversee the college’s Basic Law Enforcement Training academies, detention officer certification courses, in-service programming, and a number of specialty offerings, including courses on leadership, special tactics and current law enforcement trends.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to serve as director of PCC’s law enforcement training program and to be involved in shaping the face and future of law enforcement,” Forrest said. “We are here to provide law enforcement personnel with the skills they need to stay alive, stay healthy, and successfully perform their jobs.”

Forrest says his primary goal as director is to build upon his program’s already-solid foundation in a fiscally-responsible manner. In addition to focusing on customer service and fostering community partnerships, he says he wants to partner with other PCC instructional areas to eliminate duplication of services, increase online offerings, establish a law enforcement training advisory committee, and provide new and innovative courses led by experts from the community.

“It’s important for our law enforcement training program to remain on the cutting edge of tactics, techniques and strategies and that we are up-to-date on legal precedence in order to provide the instruction our law enforcement community desires,” Forrest said.

The 48-year-old Forrest started his law enforcement career in 1983 as a military police officer with the Army. He was honorably discharged nearly three years later and took a job as a telecommunicator with the Greene County Sheriff’s Department. That same year, he was hired by the Greenville Police Department (GPD) and went on to serve in a variety of administrative and investigative capacities before retiring as a captain in 2012 with more than 25 years of service.

Forrest still works as a reserve officer with GPD and helps patrol special events, such as the city’s annual 4th of July celebration and Halloween festivities.

“I enjoy the brotherhood associated with the law enforcement profession and the ability to truly help others and make a difference in the lives of those we serve,” he says.

A 1997 graduate of PCC’s Human Resource Management program, Forrest has more than 3,400 hours of law enforcement training under his belt. He completed the FBI National Leadership and Management Academy in 1999, earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice/criminology from Mount Olive College in 2009 and, two years later, finished a master’s degree in justice administration at Methodist University.

A devout Christian, Forrest, who is the son of Ayden’s Tommy and Wanda Forest, sings in the choir at Unity Free Will Baptist Church in Greenville. He credits his life’s achievements to his faith and supporters.

“Any success I've achieved during my life is directly related to the relationship I have with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the great friends and fellow employees I've had the privilege of working with, and the support I've received from family and friends,” he said.

Forrest and his wife, Tonya, have a daughter, son, step-son, son-in-law and granddaughter.

Not one to simply rest and relax in his free time, Forrest says he enjoys hiking the Appalachian Trail, biking, running, kayaking, riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and hunting. He also helps out with South Central High School's hunter safety skills team.