HomeNewsQ & A with Michael Seale, Chief of Police

Q & A with Michael Seale, Chief of Police

Q: How long have you worked
at TJC?
A: About 15 months

Q: Where did you work before this?
A: UT Tyler. I originally started as a student worker, and then when I left I was the lieutenant over the operations of the police department.

Q: What led you to begin working at Tyler Junior College?
A: It was an opportunity. There’s not a lot of opportunities like this in the East Texas area, so I saw this as an opportunity to grow in my career and try to bring some change to the police department and make a positive impact on the campus.

Q: Could you describe what a general day on the job looks like?
A: I come in, get caught up on my emails and check my voicemail to make sure I don’t have any missed calls or important voicemails from the day before. Typically, I try to look at most of the reports that come in from the day before to see what’s going on from the shifts that I wasn’t here for. I have meetings, and then I’ve got a lot of things I’m just generally working on and trying to improve. Right now, we’re focused on hiring. We’re trying to hire one PSO, two dispatchers and one police officer. We’re trying to get the applications screened, personal history statements in and get people’s backgrounds so we can have a 24-hour dispatch and some more people out on patrol.

Q: What is the most rewarding part
of your job?
A: Being able to help people. A lot of times people see the police as maybe heavy handed, but if I can just walk up to somebody and have a conversation and work through what’s going on that’s the most rewarding part. It’s not all about writing the most tickets or putting everybody in jail, it’s about helping people from something as small as a parking ticket to getting someone to back where they need to be so they can be good members of society. That’s why I like working in a college environment. You’ve got a chance to interact with people coming out of high school that maybe are starting down a wrong path. Maybe that interaction or bond you build with them can get them back on the path they need to be on in order to finish college, graduate and be successful.

Q: Where did you go to college?
A: UT Tyler. I’m currently getting my master’s degree in human resource development. It was something I started before I left UT, and I’ve continued it since coming to TJC.

Q: What do you plan on doing with
your master’s degree?
A: Building this police department. The things that I’m learning there will help develop the police department and make it better. There’s going to be some promotion opportunities that will become available, and I hope to use those skills to mentor the people we promote so we all can function like a well-oiled machine so to speak. That’s the reason I did human resource development; I want to do something different. My bachelor’s degree is in criminal justice, and my minor was in political science. I wanted to go in a different direction with my master’s so I had another area that I could grow and learn from and apply it to the human side of the department rather than just strictly crime prevention and crime theory.
Q: What is one interesting
fact about yourself?
A: I’m quiet. If you see me around campus, I’ll always approach somebody and ask them “Hi, how are you doing?” but my personality in generally is quiet, low-key, calm.

Q: What are your favorite activities to do outside of work?
A: I like to workout as kind of a stress relief. I love spending time with my kids and riding my motorcycle. Both of my kids like to fish, so whenever I can I try to take them fishing.

Q: Is there anything you would
like to add?
A: I’ve got a lot of projects going on, a lot of projects internally, trying to make the department better. We’re looking at several different things to make the college better. I’m doing the same thing that I did over at UT, essentially. I’m always looking for change and ways to improve, but not change for the sake of change. Change has to have a purpose; it has to have a meaning. If it doesn’t improve or build upon what’s already there, then it doesn’t do any good.

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