Nelson replaces Shepherd as new semester starts with new interim campus Chief of police in new location

Photo by Spencer Williams

Tony Nelson has assumed the duty of interim police chief for the Tennessee Tech police department after Gay Shepherd retired over the summer.

“Tony Nelson, who is serving as interim chief, has 20-plus years with the department,” said Marc Burnett, vice president of student affairs. “He was widely considered to be second in command, making him the logical choice for interim chief.”

Nelson said that he is appreciating his time in the interim position, but could not comment on whether or not he would take the position of full-time police chief.

“I’m basically looking after the department until they make a decision,” said Nelson.

Nelson said President Oldham will make the final decision of who will become the new police chief at a later date.

Nelson started working for the TTUPD in 1995.

Nelson took over the position after Gay Shepherd retired as police chief. Shepherd served Tech for 34 years. (

“She did a wonderful service for this university, and she’s now happily enjoying retirement,” said Nelson.

Tech’s police department moved locations over the summer and is now found in Foundation Hall.

Students are known to complain about lack of parking, but a new parking lot was opened behind the building as well.

“Parking is hard, but isn’t parking hard everywhere?” said Fred Nichols, Tech police officer.

As for the new residence, Nelson said the department is happy with it and that people can get in and out easily.