JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – East Tennessee State University’s (ETSU) chief of police and director of Public Safety could end up in the national spotlight for his work keeping campus safe.

A release from ETSU states Chief Cesar Gracia has been named a finalist for Campus Safety Director of the Year by “Campus Safety Magazine.”

In a provided statement, Gracia credited the entire campus police department for its work keeping ETSU safe.

“This award was a complete team effort. This prestigious nomination wouldn’t have been possible without their sacrifice and dedication to our community policing initiative. It is such an honor to have myself, our department and our university being recognized for our dedication to keeping our campus safe.”

Cesar Gracia, ETSU Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety

Gracia came to ETSU in 2020 after working as the dean of campus safety and chief of police at Lincoln Memorial University for five years.

“I’m extremely humbled and surprised,” Gracia told News Channel 11. “It is really an honor, but more importantly, it’s an honor for the people that work with me. It truly was a team effort.”

The winner of the Campus Safety Director of the Year will be announced in Las Vegas in July.