Point Park Degree Puts Alumnus on Path to Becoming Chief of Detectives Alumni Profile
Meet Andrew Gall
- Job Title & Employer
- Chief of Detectives, Beaver County District Attorney’s Office
- Criminal Justice
- August 2007
- Baden, Pa.
- High School
- Ambridge Area High School
- Now Living In
- Baden, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Western movies, true crime novels, and most importantly, my grandkids
"If the dictionary entry for chief detective included an illustration, it would be a picture of Chief Detective Andrew Gall. Chief Gall looks, communicates and acts like a chief of detectives. Why? Because he knows his job and is confident in his role. His passion for the victim, and his tenacity for solving the crime, were genetic. However, Chief Gall’s attention to detail and ability to manage people and facts with confidence were learned. That learning was partly on the job, but also derived from Point Park’s degree program."
"Point Park's criminal justice program put me on the right path to get where I am now ... I enjoyed all of the faculty members I studied under. They were a great cross section of professionals and all of them wanted us to succeed. I look back at my time at Point Park with fond memories."
Why did you decide to pursue a career in the criminal justice field?
When I was a young boy, I lived across the street from Sam McKee, who was Baden's police chief. I used to watch the patrol cars come and go from his house while he sat on his front porch and gave advice to the police officers from Baden and surrounding communities. He was extremely knowledgeable and well connected in the law enforcement community. He could get more done on the phone in an hour than most people could get done in a week. He was always open to talk to me for a few minutes and helped lead me in this direction.
How has your Point Park education helped you in your role as chief of detectives for Beaver County?
There was never an educational requirement for the job of county detective in Beaver County, but we have voluntarily made it a requirement. Most of our eight detectives have obtained their degree as adult learners. Point Park's criminal justice program put me on the right path to get where I am now.
What are your favorite Point Park memories?
Our classes met on campus and we looked a little different from the average student. At first, some students shied away from us when we were in a group at lunch or on a break. We were all working police officers and I think it showed even though we were out of uniform. One day we were waiting for an elevator and the door opened to one male student in his pajamas heading down for a snack. The look on his face as we piled on the elevator with him was priceless. He didn’t speak for the rest of the ride, but after we sat down he brought his snack over to join us. He had as good a time as we did with the conversation.
I also enjoyed walking past Point Park's Innocence Project bulletin board. I never wanted anyone to be accused, let alone convicted of something they didn’t do, but I secretly wanted to post articles on the board where the actor was caught on tape or confessed. Sometimes we have to be reminded that everyone is not innocent, just as everyone is not necessarily guilty.
I enjoyed all of the faculty members I studied under. They were a great cross section of professionals and all of them wanted us to succeed. I look back at my time at Point Park with fond memories.
What career advice do you have for our students in the Department of Criminal Justice and Intelligence Studies?
Remember that the people that you deal with will respect your honesty and integrity above anything else. These are the two qualities that will be how you are judged.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I read a long time ago that “the more repressive a society — the happier the police.” I do not agree. There are some police officers who may feel that way because it makes the job a little easier when you are dealing with a situation. However, most police officers do not agree with a repressive society and want to treat people the same way they want to be treated.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven't." — Thomas Edison
Those are the words I quote to my detectives when they think they are done.