College police trained to spot suspicious activity - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

College police trained to spot suspicious activity

September 14, 2006

Albany -- Police at one South Georgia university are doing everything in their power to safeguard against violence like that in Montreal Wednesday.        

It's a typical Thursday afternoon on the Albany State Campus. Students walk to and from class, but what if that normalcy was suddenly shattered?

"Sometimes we've got to plan for the 'what ifs?' There's always the one time when it does occur, you've got to be able to make sure the officer is trained to react appropriately to protect and safeguard our student body, faculty and staff,"said Albany State Police Chief Roberson Brown.

The what ifs? have suddenly become much more of a reality after a 25-year old man opened fire on innocent people at a college in Montreal, Canada, killing one before he was killed by a police officer.

"A shooting at school, that's crazy," says Junior Doublebe Foster. "I can't, I hope nothing like that happens down here."

But it could. There aren't gates to keep people from driving or walking on campus, although there are measures in place to get them off if they don't belong here. "They have to have a good reason to be here, if not, we run them off campus," said the chief.

Police Chief Roberson Brown says there are simple ways to tell who belongs. Check car decals, student ID's, but the most important is observation. "If you saw someone walking around in September in Georgia, in a trench coat, that's kind kind of suspicious. That's enough to stop them, because of the mode of their dress. And we have a right to stop anyone at anytime on campus, because this is a university."

And the Chief adds that students and faculty should also do their part to keep the campus safe. "Don't take anything for granted. If you see something that looks abnormal, give us a call."  

Chief Brown plans to conduct on-campus training for officers simulating similar scenarios. Anyone who needs to report suspicious activity should call the ASU police department.

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