Carlton Mullis is One of the Boys in (Panther) Blue


If you pursued a graduate degree in criminal justice at Georgia State in 2005, guess what: You had a cop in your classroom.

Actually, more than one, says Carlton Mullis, deputy chief of the campus police department. “Georgia State, especially the graduate program, is very geared toward people working in their profession,” he says. “So a good bit of my class was people who were in the middle of their profession. A lot of my law-enforcement colleagues were people I went to school with.”

This summer Mullis will celebrate 15 years keeping the peace on the Georgia State campus. And even though he’s already given plenty of time and effort keeping students and faculty safe, he decided it was a good time to give back to Georgia State another way: by making a gift through the Campus Campaign. Mullis is a member of the university’s Presidents Society as well as a lifetime member of the Georgia State Alumni Association.

Every Little Bit Counts

“In the position I’m now in, being the deputy chief of police here, I see more of what the Georgia State Foundation does,” Mullis says. “What little part I can play in keeping Georgia State growing and expanding, I want to play it. I try to target those things that I care about, and one was the criminal justice program.”

Seeing what the Foundation has accomplished as a result of charitable gifts, Mullis realized every little bit helps. “Your gift may not seem like much, but a lot of people giving a little adds up. Whatever you can give, it’s your chance to give back to Georgia State. You may think you’re only giving a little bit, but a thousand people giving a little bit of money adds up to a pretty good amount.”

The growth and energy he’s witnessed at Georgia State is one of the reasons he wanted to come here in the first place. “I like being in Atlanta. We always tell people we’re in the middle of the largest city in the South, there’s a lot going on in this city, and a lot of what’s going on in Atlanta is happening here at Georgia State. It’s grown by leaps and bounds. I enjoy being part of that.”

Protecting at Home, Seeing the World

Mullis admits his career in law enforcement started almost by accident. “I wanted to go into ROTC, but at the time they were sort of downsizing, so I wasn’t going to get an active duty commission,” he remembers. “So I decided that I needed to find a real job. That’s when I started working with the UGA Police Department.”

After earning his undergraduate degree in political science at UGA, Mullis served on the Georgia World Congress Center’s bike patrol in Centennial Park for a few years before joining the force at Georgia State. After a few more years, he decided a master’s degree was his key to the next step.

Spending part of the day protecting students and the other part mingling among them in the classroom required a little bit of adjustment, Mullis says, but the student experience at Georgia State more than lived up to expectations. In particular, he points to the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) as a worthwhile experience that really broadened his horizons. “I did that over two weeks in 2006,” he says. “I went over to Israel, traveled the country and met members of their police department, while they also brought some Israeli police officers over here. I learned a lot from that.”

Mullis has maintained his involvement with GILEE, and through Dr. Robert Friedmann, professor emeritus in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, he even took the initiative to make some connections with police in the United Kingdom.

“I was on vacation over in London, and through Dr. Friedmann I made a connection with Scotland Yard and the London Metropolitan Police,” he says. “It’s always nice to be able to meet colleagues from the other side of the world.”