Tom Anderson


Faculty, School of Firearms Technology

Highest degree and school:

MS, Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati

Teaching at SDI since: 2021

Tom Anderson has been an SDI faculty member since 2021 for the School of Firearms Technology, where he teaches FTT 240 Shooting Sports Management and FTT 221 Sights, Optics, and Accuracy. He began his career in law enforcement in 1992, working his way up from patrol officer all the way to serving as his department’s chief, a position he held for seven years. In his time on the force, Tom spent time in the areas of criminal investigations, internal affairs, special operations, and community services, as well as twelve years on the department’s SWAT team. In 2015, he was named North Carolina’s first Public Safety Risk Manager and currently serves as the Director of Municipal Risk Control and Public Safety Field Services. In addition to certifications in Colt AR-15 and Glock Armor and as a N.C. State Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor, Tom earned his bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Gardener-Webb University and holds a master of science in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati. Tom is also a Past-President and a long-time executive board member for the North Carolina Police Executives Association.

Tom’s experience teaching college-level courses began well before his time at SDI, and he has long been a professor of criminal justice and government studies at the university level. When asked what made him want to teach for SDI, Tom shared “I wanted to use my specialized firearms training and experience to teach classes and topics other than criminal justice-related classes. SDI provides a great opportunity for me to teach something that I enjoy, and have had a passion for all of my life. I view myself as a lifelong student of this industry, and I personally learn and better myself with every class taught.” His favorite part of teaching revolves around building relationships with students and really connecting with them: “Being able to assist our students in achieving their desired levels of success is very fulfilling. When I meet a highly motivated student who sees the ‘big picture,’ I am even more motivated and fulfilled as a teacher.”

Outside of the classroom, Tom enjoys working in the yard and spending time with his wife, daughter, and three dogs. He is interested in military history and technology, particularly from World War II, as well as the history and science of firearms. When asked his thoughts on what he considered a perfect day, Tom’s answer was that of a true leader and teacher: “Feeling like I contributed something good to someone else.”