After 17 Years, Sergeant Michael Gillis Hangs Up His Public Safety Uniform to be a Full-time Minister

Since 2005, Michael Gillis has served as a Midnight Platoon Sergeant for the Morningside Campus, responsible for working the Operations Desk, on/off-campus patrol, and supervising over 40 officers on the 12 a.m. to 8 p.m. shift.

May 05, 2022

Before Joining Columbia Public Safety: 
Gillis worked for Victim Services (now known as Safe Horizons) as a Site Coordinator for a high school mediation program before joining the Police Athletic League as an Assistant Director. With 13 years of experience working with high school students, Gillis applied to work with Columbia’s Double Discovery Program because he had an interest in working with low-income and first-generation college-bound youth.  

Though he didn’t receive that role, he was recommended to Columbia’s Public Safety – a happenstance way of landing with the department where he has worked for the last 17 years. 
Life in Retirement: 
Gillis is a minister for the Jehovah's Witnesses, and after each shift would head to his congregation in Brooklyn to preach alongside his wife. In retirement, Gillis will have an opportunity to be a minister full-time and help more people learn about God by preaching and teaching while also spending more time with his family. 

What he will cherish the most from his time at Columbia Public Safety are the relationships he made with his platoon, many of whom he mentored. “A lot of them just needed encouragement to know that they were doing a good job and had support,” Gillis says. “Little did they know that while I did my best to be their sounding board, they were the ones really encouraging and inspiring me.” 

Thank you for your service and congratulations on your retirement, Sergeant Gillis!