Ervin retires after 20 years of service

Zoë Donovan, Managing Editor

Next semester, Lake Land College will be missing a friendly face around campus. Randy Ervin, our current Police Chief will be retiring this winter. Ervin has been with Lake Land for 20 years now, about as long, if not longer than a large portion of the students here have been alive.

Before Lake Land, he’d begun his last enforcement career at the Coles County Sheriff’s department, and was a deputy sheriff for 11 years. While there he saw that our college had an opening for the position of police chief. Being a Lake Land grad himself, he felt intrigued by the position, and was still in touch with some people at the college.

“I applied for the job not really knowing if I had a chance of getting it or not. I got an interview, then a second interview, and before I knew it they gave me the job.”

Over the years, Ervin’s role and duties as Chief of Police have changed quite a bit from when he originally began work here. When he first began the department was new and he was hired to “form the department and put it together.” His duties at the time included “hiring personal, buying equipment and writing policy and procedure.”

He said today his role is mostly being responsible for the schedule, administrative duties, maintaining the budget and supervising employees, of which there are currently five full-time and eight part-time. Ervin is also involved heavily on campus, including a program that works on “providing student and employee training on active shooter response” and oversees a campus-wide emergency preparedness plan. He has also been a co-advisor for the criminal justice club for the past seven years.

He feels the way he’s most helped to contribute are through keeping current with changing times.

“When I was hired, that was before 9/11, before Virginia Tech, before Columbine,” Ervin said.

Before these events, active shooter response and emergency preparedness simply weren’t things most colleges were doing.

“Once that tide turned, it’s kind of been never-ending trying to keep up.”

In his retirement, Ervin plans to keep active in work thorough substitute teaching in the Mattoon area and working part-time with a company that does accident reconstruction.  He also hopes to further some of his hobbies.

“I plan to do a lot of golf in the summer and I enjoy distance running,” Ervin said. “I have a few marathons that are on my bucket list. I’d like to try and cross some of those off.”

Over all, Ervin said he has enjoyed his experience at Lake Land College.

“It really has been a great career here. I’ve really enjoyed working for the college and I’ve made so many great friends here over the years. I think I’m really going to miss that personal touch.”

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