“They’re a Good Team”: The Story of Timothy Hart and Chris Meyer’s Camaraderie


Timothy Hart

Hart (left) and Meyer (right) pose for a photo at Camp Clark.

John Michael Carter, Staff Writer

Chandler and Joey from “Friends,” Woody and Buzz Lightyear in “Toy Story,” hamburgers and fries. The list of iconic duos goes on. 

We have one of our own here at Cambridge: law and public safety teachers Timothy Hart and Chris Meyer. 

Before they were teaching at the school, they were helping Afghanistan boost its police force while the American military was fighting the Taliban and helping to establish a secure government there. 

Prior to their tours of duty, both Hart and Meyer were policemen: Hart in California and Meyer here in Georgia. They met in 2010 while in military training before being deployed to the same base, Camp Clark in Eastern Afghanistan’s Khost Province. 

Hart in an urban market in Afghanistan. (Timothy Hart)

Hart and Meyer worked for a private company there that was contracted with the U.S. State Department to help in nation-building processes. 

Their role as ex-police officers was to train Afghan police. 

“You have to be sensitive and understand how they approach things from a cultural standpoint. They don’t have a Bill of Rights. They don’t have some of the freedoms that we have,” said Meyer. 

Hart and Meyer were given the freedom to train the men how they’d like, and the handbook they devised became extremely popular, with people from provinces across Afghanistan wanting to send their people to Hart and Meyer’s training camp. 

After training them, Meyer said he and Hart had to observe the officers and evaluate the efficacy of the instruction. 

One day, the base commander came by.  

“‘General Petraeus is coming to base today. He’s flying in, just for you guys,’” he said, according to Hart. He was very impressed with Hart and Meyer’s program and wanted to discuss it with them. 

Petraeus was the commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which was a multinational military operation aimed to help rebuild vital Afghan governmental institutions. He later became director of the CIA. 

Meyer eventually ended his service in 2011, while Hart finished in 2012. 

Hart and Meyer pose for a photo with Jordanian troops. (Timothy Hart)

When Cambridge was bolstering their law and public safety pathway in 2014, Hart joined former teacher Thomas Washburn in instructing the program. 

While in Afghanistan, they had an interpreter who was always by their side. He spoke Urdu, Pashtun, Dari and Farsi, which were all helpful to the now-teachers. 

However, the Taliban held interpreters in a precarious position because they aided the U.S. government. Because of this, the U.S. Department of State had a program to distribute visas to Afghans and Iraqis who had helped the U.S. military. 

He finally moved to Georgia in 2017 with his family. The only thing they brought with them were backpacks. 

Hart notified his students and their parents of the situation, and a PTA mom organized a furniture drive with her friends. Within a few days, everything needed to furnish the interpreter’s family’s apartment had been provided. Hart rented a U-Haul and delivered everything to their apartment. 

“It was probably one of the best things that came out of that whole thing that we did,” Hart said. 

Meyer (left) and Hart (right) wearing traditional Afghan clothing. (Timothy Hart)

After Meyer left Afghanistan, he went to teach in the West Bank but found his way to Cambridge after Hart recruited him in 2020 when Washburn retired. 

Mansi Bhimani, a senior who has known Hart “since the first day of freshman year,” said Hart’s experience in the field of policing and military helps students understand the law and justice class better. 

“He was in the military, but he was also a police officer, so he’s seen everything he’s teaching now from different perspectives,” said Bhimani.   

“The thing about Meyer and Hart is that you can always count on them for having really good stories, so then it’s a very memorable class,” she said. “They’re a good team.” 

Film teacher Hal Funderburk works with both Hart and Meyer in advising SkillsUSA.  

“They’re definitely not what I would consider your typical battle-harden, former-military type; they are extremely funny, very supportive, compassionate, very intelligent in various areas and have proven to be extremely loyal and reliable friends,” Funderburk said. 

With the personal experience of aiding people in dire situations, Meyer said he attempts to teach his students to be empathetic to the hardships of people around the world. 

“There’s a lot of people in this world that have a lot bigger challenges than people in Milton, Georgia,” he said.