After an 11-year career as Chief of the Florida A&M Police Department, Calvin Ross has retired.
Ross, in a letter to President James H. Ammons, said, he would be working with his wife on a private business venture, “Infinit Productions,” created by his son.
His original plan was to retire in January, but he cited the death of Robert Champion and the want to conclude the following investigations as the reason for continuing to serve.
“As of this date, I believe we have reached that conclusion,” said Ross.
Assistant Chief of Police John Earst will serve as the acting chief as the university searches for a new head to FAMU PD.
Earst has worked in law enforcement for more than 30 years with over 10 years at TPD before coming to FAMU in 1988.
Ross dismissed suspicions that his retirement was forced after the suspension of two FAMU music department professors for connections to a hazing incident last week. According to the police report, FAMU PD did not respond to reports of the incident until after the Tallahassee Democrat reported about it and TPD began an investigation.
William Hudson Jr., vice president of Student Affairs, confirmed that Ross was not asked to leave.
Hudson said that Ross was assisting with a transition plan that is preparing Earst and other members of police staff to work under new leadership while a permanent replacement is found.
“We’re going to try and find the best person for the position to move us forward,” said Hudson.
“The investigation started as investigators were working on numerous cases. They worked it up until a point. We shared it with them [TPD] and it became a joint investigation,” said Ross.
Ross said that the conclusion of the TPD investigation was the first he learned of faculty involvement in hazing. “That information would not have come out until the end,” he said.
He said that the staff he was leaving behind was more than qualified to handle the ongoing investigations into hazing and any other police work as well.
“They’re not immediately bringing someone in to take over where I left off,” said Ross. “The people that are there are the very same people that I would call on a day-to-day basis will take over and continue to run the police department.”
During Ross’ career at FAMU, he established a police force at the FAMU College of Law in Orlando, implemented the E2 Campus emergency system and merged parking services and police department to enhance the convergence operations.