Act of Friendliness Led to Career as Officer
There’s one thing that Randy Barrone has been hassling his three sons about since they were teenagers — what do they want to do for a living?
“I always knew what I wanted to do,” said the Georgia Tech Police Department captain. “So I couldn’t understand why they didn’t know.”
When Barrone was a kid, he noticed that when people heard police sirens, they would straighten up. He also took notice of how sharp officers looked in their uniforms.
“One day, an officer took the time to come over and say ‘hello’ to me, and that made a huge impression,” Barrone said. “After that interaction, I knew that being a police officer is what I wanted to do — I couldn’t wait to be a superhero.”
He got his start after joining the army’s delayed entry program at age 17, where he worked as a military policeman for four years. Just before his initial commitment was to end, Barrone met his wife and decided to exit the military for civilian life.
He accepted a position at Tech and was promoted to sergeant after a year at the Institute. After moving through a variety of positions, more than 20 years later, Barrone is still happy to call Georgia Tech home.
“It’s the community at Tech that keeps me here,” he added. “I’ve just never had any reason to leave.”
Recently, The Whistle had a chance to learn more about Barrone and his time at the Institute.
What are a few things you want people to know about your job?
First, we have to do a lot of annual required training including updates on laws and protocol, firearms and use of force, and CPR and AED use. Also, we are sworn and certified police officers, just like those who would work for a city or a county. (We work for the state under the Board of Regents.) We have all had to go through training at the police academy and have to complete a minimum of 20 hours of training each year. (You lose your arrest powers if you don’t get the training.) Finally, we value feedback, so if you have comments to share — good or bad — don’t be afraid to let us know.
What is a day in your job like?
These days, I participate in meetings, and I work in the office a good bit. I oversee crime prevention, training, physical security, and records and asset management. The only challenge with this is that when you’re in a management position in an office, you sometimes forget what it’s like to be on patrol. So, I try to really listen to what officers who are on patrol are telling me about their experiences.
Are you a fan of social media — which type?
I’m a Facebook person. I love being able to see all of the pictures.
What piece of technology could you not live without?
My Droid phone. It has everything on it that I could need.
What is your favorite part of campus?
The top of Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center’s parking deck in Tech Square. Up there, you can see and hear the city in a way that you can’t in other spots.
What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
I earned a master’s degree in social science from Mercer University.
Where is your favorite place to have lunch?
The McDonald’s on Hemphill because the people watching is great. I’ll order a cheeseburger and fries and just watch the characters that come through.
Tell us something unique about yourself.
I’ve taught stress management. As part of my ongoing continuing education to be a police officer, I was given the opportunity to become a certified instructor at the police academy. So, I attended a two-week school, which involved having to present a lesson — and I focused mine on stress management. The next thing I knew, I was asked to actually do the same training for the police academy.
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