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Veteran FBI agent takes over as head of campus security and safety at USF Sarasota-Manatee

By Marc R. Masferrer, University Communications and Marketing

Scott McMillion, a 25-year FBI agent with experience in a wide range of investigative and supervisory roles across the country, including after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has been named the assistant director of campus security and safety at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.

His new job, McMillion said, gives him the chance both to continue in a public service role and apply the emergency and crisis management experience he gained while at the FBI and before that, with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. McMillion said he was impressed with the quality of USF’s emergency management efforts, which he added surpass those of many other universities.

“We're serving the community, we're serving the people who are here on campus, and giving them an assurance that we're going to do everything possible to keep them safe and secure and to literally mitigate any risk that may be facing them,” McMillion said.

scott mcmillion

Scott McMillion

McMillion started his FBI career in 1998 and was part of several criminal investigative squads, including as senior leader of the Evidence Response Team for the FBI office in Omaha, Neb. In that role, McMillion, who holds a master’s degree in forensic science, was part of the team that sifted through debris from the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

After a promotion, McMillion filled several supervisory roles at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., including as a unit chief in the Violent Crimes Against Children Division, and at FBI offices in Pensacola and Columbia, S.C. He returned to Washington in 2021 to serve as the FBI’s chief diversity officer and then as the deputy assistant director overseeing FBI training programs.

"Scott comes to USF with a wealth of skills and experience that will help strengthen the already stellar safety record of our campus," said Eddie Beauchamp, regional vice chancellor for business and financial affairs at USF Sarasota-Manatee. "Our students, faculty and staff can be assured that their safety is Scott's top priority."

McMillion said the supervisory roles he held gave him experience as an emergency manager, for example in the Florida panhandle where he worked with local officials on preparations for and responses to hurricane disasters.

A big part of his job at USF Sarasota-Manatee, McMillion said, is to prepare his team and others on campus to respond to myriad possible crises, ranging from Florida’s volatile weather to violent crime to how USF might be affected by possible off-campus emergencies along U.S. 41 and at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.

Preparing for the next possible, unknown emergency is an extension of the most important responsibility for McMillion’s team: keeping students, faculty, staff and visitors safe while on campus. It’s a task that comes with particular challenges at Sarasota-Manatee, McMillion said, especially with the campus becoming a 24-hour-a-day residential operation with the opening of the new student center and residence hall in the fall of 2024.

"We are an open campus, and that poses a significant risk for keeping our people safe, keeping the assets safe, as well as the properties as well from those that would look to do harm. I think that's the challenge. That's how it is with any public facility. You have to allow access, while being aware of who should be here and who shouldn’t,” McMillion said.

McMillion is excited for the chance to use his considerable experience to secure the safety of the campus and everyone who studies, works and lives at Sarasota-Manatee.

“The USF community is a wonderful place, and it is a great opportunity with the people who are here, and particularly for what we do for our students,” McMillion said. “To be in a role that keeps them safe, actually protects the campus and the assets of the campus, to me, makes a whole lot of sense from my previous experience. It just fits.” 

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