VSU police provides programs to ensure campus community safety
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - You may see them cruising around Valdosta State University. To wrap up police week, we’re learning more about VSU’s police and their mission on campus.
From an app for reporting crime to walking students and staff to their cars, VSU police offer various programs for campus safety.
“I’ve learned these last five years here at VSU that campus policing is incredibly different,” said Alan Rowe, police chief.
Interacting with students and being part of their education and not just running to calls on law enforcement business.
Chief Rowe tells us they have a unique role.
“We have a very strange number one goal. I want to be so common of current on-campus that when one of my officers walks into a room, nobody thinks something is wrong. I want them to start having those relationships and see us enough,” said Chief Rowe.
Their patrol area includes all the around campus and 500 yards in any direction from that property.
Chief Rowe says it’s about a third of the city, with a lot of areas overlapping with other departments.
He tells me there are always five on-duty officers on campus, going in and out of buildings, and interacting with the campus community.
“I feel like in order to have students safe, including me because I’ll be an incoming freshman. If they don’t protect us, how would they know? What if we get kidnapped coming home,” said Alessia Aristhomene. She’s an incoming freshman from Florida, visiting the campus for orientation.
She tells us safety was a priority during her college search.
One of VSU’s police safety programs is The Blazer Guardian app.
It connects to their dispatch center, and on it, students can submit anonymous tips.
Police escort services are also provided 24/7 if anyone feels unsafe.
“So I feel safe leaving him here knowing that they do have a lot of different safety programs on campus for the kids,” said Shuri Rand. She’s from West Georgia, checking out the campus with her son who will be attending soon.
She tells us he had visited other universities, but VSU was the one he liked and felt the safest at.
Chief Rowe says property crime is the main issue they see.
For new and current students, he says always be aware of your surroundings on and off-campus.
When something doesn’t look right, report it.
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