Albany State University Police diversify officers to keep up with students

Albany State University Police diversify officers to keep up with students

Close to 200 new students will be at Albany State University for orientation Friday.
 University Police say today's students are changing, and they're hiring more diverse officers to protect them.

Albany State University Police have hired younger officers, and more female officers, to better relate to their students they serve.

20 year old Bradley Pritchett joined the Albany State University Police force this week. University officials want younger officers, who can interact better with their students.
Pritchett said "So I can kind of relate to them a little bit better, maybe.  See if we can't get a good understanding going, you know."
Pritchett was the top graduate from South Georgia Technical College's justice department, and ASU Police Chief John Fields says he knows younger officers can understand today's tech savy students better, and the dangers they face.
Fields said "You know like the Craig List, and some other things, Scams.  Sometimes students get caught up in some things. This generation is more inclined to their own opinion. They are very knowledgeable."
Freshman Jabari Dickson is in his first weeks at Albany State, and says it has been a big change for him.
Dickson said "Yea, the freedom is a big change.  I'm not used to all the freedom."
So the Albany State Police Department gets more diverse.  More young officers, female officers, officers who can speak foreign languages. Pritchett said the main thing is to let students know police are there to help them.
Pritchett said "Like to show that not all cops have to be stereotyped.  We're all human."
Fields said "Campus security should be one of the top two priorities, within the top 3 priorities of any campus.  If it's not, you are going to have a problem."
Albany State has been rated one of the safest universities in Georgia, and they want to keep that rating high as the new wave of freshmen report for the fall semester.

ASU Police say tougher federal regulations involving sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking will require university officials to respond and report campus violence, something they have to be prepared to handle.

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