VSU Police train to keep their campus safe - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

VSU Police train to keep their campus safe

April 16, 2007

Valdosta - At least 33 are dead from a school shooting at Virginia Tech. The thought of a similar situation occurring at Valdosta State University sends chills down Scott Doner's spine.  "It's something I would never want to happen on a campus!" he exclaims.

As director of the VSU Police, he uses a series of tools to keep a watchful eye on the campus and it's students.  "We have emergency phones on campus that are all over the place, close circuit TV monitoring, student patrols on campus."

And prepares his officers for the worst.  "We go through critical incident training, critical ones that can occur on campus."

But despite his efforts, he says you can never be truly prepared a situation like this so he's not going it alone.

Police at VSU depend on the helping hand from the Valdosta Police and other agencies to keep this campus safe. They say banding together is the best way to control a situation and keep the peace.  "If something were to happen of this type of magnitude than we are in this together and we are going to assist each other," Doner says.

And students are at ease, knowing these officers and officials are taking their safety seriously.

"I've actually seen first hand when they've been on the scene as soon as something happens. I've seen them ride on their bicycles real fast around the corners," says Freshman Martiez Moore.

Fellow Freshman Lucas Harvey agrees.  "Just going from my dorm to the cafeteria I usually see about two police officers and one or two security patrols."

Just last March, the Valdosta State Police hosted an Active Shooter Training Program to train officers and administrators to handle a shooting or other disastrous situation that could occur on campus.

Doner and other officers will continue to watch the news for the latest information on Monday's attack and use it to improve their training.

Should violence erupt at Albany State, campus officers are fully trained to use deadly force if necessary.   

When Chief Roberson Brown took his position on the force, he decided to upgrade officer's weapons to Glock 40's. Officers are also now trained on rifles and shotguns as backup auxiliary weapons.

Brown felt the extra training was a necessity to prepare for potential tragic attacks like today's deadly shootings in Virginia. ASU safety officials hope they never have to use the deadly training, but they are confident that it's there if needed.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=CampusSafety