Skip to main content

Columbus State graduate is Columbus Police spokesperson

Update | Monday, September 23, 2019

A 2000 graduate of Columbus State Community College is the new public information officer (PIO) for the Columbus Division of Police. Sgt. James Fuqua was appointed to the position in September by Police Chief Tom Quinlan.

Fuqua is a 14-year veteran of the department. As the PIO, he will be the principal spokesperson for the police force. Born and raised on the south side of the city, Fuqua says police work was not in his initial career plans. That came after his path crossed through Columbus State in the late 1990s.

Fuqua was taking general education classes in an attempt to find a career path. He had just returned to Columbus after serving two years in the U.S. Army. (He also served four years in the National Guard.)

In one campus building he saw a sign with this message: If you need a job, call (this number). Needing a job, he called. The job was a position in loss prevention at a department store. In that role, he worked with special-duty police officers. Fuqua says, “I met them, and over time, began to appreciate what they did. They eventually suggested I consider doing a ride-along with an officer. I did, and fell in love with the job right away.”

That pointed Fuqua to a specific major. In 2000, he graduated with an Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement. In 2004 he was accepted into the Columbus Division of Police Academy. Fuqua says the instruction he received at Columbus State gave him a head start at the Academy. “Everyone at the College was very supportive and very patient with me. The classes were small, which helped me be a more successful student. I felt like they always cared, and I wasn’t looked at like a number.”

Fuqua says he was interested in the PIO position to help communicate the message of the department. “Being able to be upfront with the media and the public is important because I’m big on transparency,” he says.

Before the PIO position, Fuqua was a patrol officer on the streets. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2015. His most recent assignment was in his old south side neighborhood. Fuqua says, “I wanted to be a role model for people in that part of the city. Growing up, I didn’t see many officers of color like myself.”

For the past four years, he’s also been the Diversity and Inclusion Liaison in the African-American community. It’s a role he plans to continue for now.

And the new police spokesperson has a second Columbus State connection: His brother, Ryan Fuqua, is a system specialist in Enrollment Services Operations.

Go to 2019 Update Archive Go to Employee Update


Latest Update Stories