Command Staff


Joseph Spillane

Chief of Police

A decorated veteran with nearly 30 years of experience policing the streets of Atlanta, Chief Spillane graduated from the Atlanta police academy as the valedictorian of his class in 1988. He quickly rose through the ranks, serving in five of the city’s six precincts and becoming deputy chief in 2013, when he was appointed to oversee the Atlanta Police Department’s strategic crime fighting initiatives and ultimately all of Field Operations.

Chief Spillane twice earned the Atlanta Police Department’s Meritorious Service Medal, the department’s second highest commendation, once for removing residents from a burning building and another time for removing a critically wounded man from a basement for medical attention after a shootout with the police.  Currently a Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council (POST) certified Senior Instructor, Spillane is also a former instructor at the Atlanta Police Academy.  Spillane has earned multiple certifications from the Georgia Peace Officer Training and Standards Council, among others.

Chief Spillane is a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP), Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a leadership course conducted by Harvard professors in Boston.  Chief Spillane is also a graduate of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE), held in Israel.  He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from Saint Leo University in Florida.

Chief Spillane retired from the City of Atlanta in November of 2016 and began his new position as the Chief of Police for Georgia State University.


Anthony Coleman

Police Services Major

Major Anthony Coleman joined the police department in 1992. He walked the beat as a patrolman and has served as a corporal, sergeant and lieutenant on the various patrol shifts and investigation division. Shortly after the Olympics in 1996, he started a 10-officer police bicycle patrol, which has now grown to more than 20 officers.

As police services major, he serves under the chief overseeing the newly acquired Football Stadium operations, investigations, communications division, training, hiring and recruitment, community outreach, and accreditation.

Major Coleman received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Saint Leo University and his master’s degree from Columbus State University. He has also attended several incident command classes and serves as incident commander on high-profile events and occurrences. Major Coleman serves as a team leader traveling throughout the state to assist other agencies with their State of Georgia certifications.


Brian Lawton

cropped_brian_lawtonPolice Operations Major

Major Brian K. Lawton began his law enforcement career with the Georgia State University Police Department in the year 2000. Major Brian K. Lawton has served as a Patrol Officer, Corporal, Sergeant and Lieutenant working various shifts and assignments throughout his career for the department. He has supervised the award winning Pedestrian Safety Team/Traffic Motors Division and Crime Suppression Team as a Sergeant. As a Lieutenant Major Lawton supervised both the Criminal Investigations Division and the Internal Affairs Division as the Division Commander.

As the Major of the Operations Division, Major Lawton the Patrol Division of all the GSU campuses and both the Pedestrian Safety Team/Traffic Motors Division and Crime Suppression Team. Major Lawton also supervises the Internal Affairs Division and assists the department’s accreditation team.

Major Lawton received his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Bloomfield College and his master’s degree in Public Administration from Capella University. Major Lawton is also a General and Specialized Police Instructor in Defensive Tactics for the State of Georgia and has received many certifications pertaining to managing critical incidents. Major Lawton also is an active member and serves as an officer for the Georgia Association of Campus Law Enforcement (GACLEA), and a member of both the Georgia and National Internal Affairs Investigators Association as well as the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA).


Bart Hulsey

Police Operations Captain


Bart Hulsey started his police career at the City of Atlanta Police Department in 1982. In 1987 he accepted a position with the Gwinnett County Police Department. Captain Hulsey steadily rose through the ranks at Gwinnett County serving as a Sergeant, Lieutenant (shift commander) and finally Major.

During his 11 years as a Major he commanded three different precincts, was Commander of the Special Investigations Section (Vice/ Narcotics). During his tenure in SIS his teams set three consecutive records for seizures of illegal narcotics. In 2005 the unit earned the Valor Award as “Unit of the Year” from the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce.

Captain Hulsey retired from the Gwinnett County Police Department in December of 2010 as one of the most decorated officers in the department having been awarded a Medal of Valor, two Distinguished service medals and two Police Achievement Medals. In October of 2012 Captain Hulsey began his career at Georgia Perimeter College. After the consolidation with Georgia State University he was promoted to the rank of Captain and is in charge of the patrol division for all five campuses; with over 100 officers under his command.

Captain Hulsey holds many Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Certifications, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Mercer University.