New campus safety assistant director brings police force experience


On Jan. 6, Calvin’s campus safety welcomed its new assistant director, Jim Potter. Potter comes to Calvin with 28 years of experience in the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD), where he was in a variety of leadership positions and was recognized for his contributions to his field.

“Higher education is changing, and that comes with new requirements,” said Bill Corner, director of campus safety. “We need skilled people to fulfill these requirements and keep the community safe. He [Potter] knows the Calvin community and will contribute to the team’s dedication to making Calvin safe.”

Potter is a sergeant to the Major Case Team, and while serving at the GRPD he held positions in places such as the Neighborhood Patrol Unit, Family Services Unit, the Fugitive Taskforce and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Taskforce. He has been a part of the police Honor Guard since 1988 and is a part of the Cop 2 Cop support team.

In addition to this, Potter has received three unit citations, eighteen letters of recognition and a nomination for police officer of the year in 2000. Before joining the GRPD, he attended Calvin and Grand Valley, where he earned a degree in criminal justice.

Potter has always felt a connection to Calvin College. “I always thought I wanted to come back; it was where I wanted to end up. Being a part of this community was the biggest draw.”

Potter’s family is also active in the Calvin community — his wife, Kristi Potter, is the director of the January Series, and his two sons are students. He also previously worked at Calvin as the operations manager of campus safety.

Besides his work in law enforcement, Potter is keen to begin working with students, another one of his passions. He has worked as a youth leader at Calvary CRC for over than 20 years.

“I’m excited for daily contact and interaction that ties together my passions for law enforcement and student interaction,” says Potter.