Andy Garrison was born and raised in Jackson County. He was active in FFA, showing and judging livestock and he won the FFA Public Speaking Award in high school. He attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) with the intent of becoming a veterinarian, but as his studies progressed, he had a professor who steered him in the direction of law enforcement. Andy served as a Student Senator and started taking criminal justice courses, finishing with an Associate’s degree in sociology.
Transferring to the University of Georgia and then finishing his studies at Georgia Southern, Andy earned his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and went to work for the Clarke County Police Department in 1976. He was promoted from patrolman to detective and then became sergeant. As Andy continued advancing his training, he became a crime scene technician, a major case investigator and formed the agency's first bomb squad, where he was then chosen to be the SWAT Commander.
Andy then moved into the role of Director for the state police academy and became Major at the University of Georgia Police Department. In that capacity, he trained the police force in 24 counties across northeast Georgia. He then earned his Masters in Public Administration degree from Brenau College and began teaching courses in computer software applications at Athens Technical College.
In 1983, Andy formed The Garrison Company, providing training in Human Resources, computers and security. During this time, he traveled to Cairo, Egypt with the U.S. State Department to train the Egyptian National Police force on homeland security and later trained instructors in their Homeland Security Agency.
In addition to his career in law enforcement and education, Andy is also a seasoned actor, participating in a number of theater groups, including a long-standing role as Crawford W. Long in a Haints & Saints Historic Cemetery Tour through a production with the Crawford Long Museum.
In 2011, Andy retired from his law enforcement career and entered the field of real estate, as Principal Managing Partner of Inland Realty. He has served as the President of Jefferson Rotary, Chairman of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Board, Chairman of the Tumbling Waters Society at Hurricane Shoals Park Board and Commander of the Sons of the American Legion. He is also on the board of the new Jackson County Agriculture Center, working to develop a county fair and serve as a center for our community. Andy continues to provide personal safety training, firearms training and provides a ministry doing safety assessments of churches. Andy and his wife, Hilda have been lifelong family friends, reconnecting after many years and getting married in 2017. Together they have four children and she and Andy enjoy every chance they get to spend time with their four grandchildren. The Garrisons are active members at First Baptist of Jefferson where Andy serves as a Deacon and Sunday School teacher.