Knox County Schools has a new Chief of Security.
Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre announced on Monday that he has appointed Gus Paidousis to the role. Paidousis replaces Steve Griffin, who was suspended for his final two weeks before retirement. Griffin was accused of having an unprofessional friendship with one of the district's contractors.
Paidousis is currently the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Investigation Division for the Knoxville Police Department (KPD). He is expected to begin his duties with the Knox County Schools about May 20th.
"I was educated in the Knox County Schools System. I have been very fortunate to have a lot of training and experience when it comes to child protection and I look forward to sharing everything that I have had shared with me to try to make our schools safe," Paidousis said in a phone interview. He's currently away at an Amber Alert conference.
According to a press release from the school system, Paidouisis has been with KPD for more than 30 years. He has served as Deputy Chief of the Patrol Division and Deputy Chief of the Support Services division of the KPD. He was involved in the development of the department's School Resource Officer (SRO) program and assisted in the selection and assignment of KPD's first SROs. He is considered an expert on Amber Alert systems and strategies to prevent and address the abduction and exploitation of children.
Paidousis attended Knox County Schools, and holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in Law Enforcement and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from ETSU. He has also completed study at the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Virginia.
"This appointment was made following a thorough process to identify a highly qualified and proven leader to oversee our school security operations," said McIntyre. "Knox County Sheriff J.J. Jones and Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch provided exceptional insight and expertise as we assessed the candidates for this very important position within our school system. I appreciate their support and assistance in this regard."
"We are excited for the Knox County Schools and its school security department," said Knoxville Police Chief Rausch. "Deputy Chief Paidousis is a highly trained law enforcement professional who could oversee any major city law enforcement agency across the nation. He will take Knox County school security to a new level of professionalism."