When he was with the Greenville Police Department, Mike Gambrell helped to put mobile data terminals in squad cars and install video surveillance cameras downtown.
He still works at the intersection of technology and public safety. He just does it for the private sector now, incurring less stress.
“There’s a unique stress in law enforcement that’s like no other occupation,” said Gambrell, who was named Officer of the Year four times. “And I don’t miss that.”
The 54-year-old Greenville native spent 30 years with the police department and was a supervisor in every division before retiring as interim chief in 2014.
For the past year and a half, he’s been a subject matter expert for Synnex Corp., the distributor of information technology products and services that employs 685 people in Greenville, not including those who work for its Concentrix subsidiary.
As manager of the Synnex public safety program, Gambrell helps the company’s customers sell various high-tech products and services they get from Synnex to police departments, fire departments and emergency medical service (EMS) agencies.
Those products and services include video cameras worn on the uniform, mounted in patrol cars, installed in and on buildings, and sent into the air on drones. They also include the computer servers, cloud storage service and software needed to store and retrieve all of the video created by the cameras.
Gambrell, a graduate of the FBI National Academy, speaks at sales-related events sponsored by Synnex, its customers or the industry and says he spends about 80 percent of his time on the road. He also communicates in webinars and on conference calls, sometimes with police chiefs.
He was just a few months into retirement when a mutual friend put him in touch with Eddie Franklin, a Synnex vice president who oversees the company’s work for public-sector markets.
At the time, Franklin recalled, Synnex wanted to expand its public safety business and “needed to collaborate with someone who knew more than we did, someone who understood how technology supports the mission of policing.”
Gambrell’s “experience applying technology to solve problems and the way he connected with our team made it evident he was our guy,” Franklin said.
“Mike is extremely humble and approachable. He’s had a positive impact on so many people in the building, and provides a good example of what a real teammate looks like. We are lucky to have found him.”