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University Police have tradition of service

The Troy University Police Department has a new home, but it’s objective to protect and serve the University remains the same.

The university police department recently moved in to its new station on Park Street this week. Although they have a new home, their focus continues to be to protect the students and the staff of the university.

“Our focus here is to provide safety and security for students, faculty, staff and visitors,” Chief George Beaudry said. “A lot of our focus is more community relations type policing and service type of policing.”

The department has a long list of different services they offer to the students, faculty, staff and visitors of the Troy University campus.

“We are helping our students with vehicle lockouts, jumpstarting cars and getting back into their dorms if they lock their keys inside,” Beaudry said.

It’s a service that the students, faculty and staff appreciate.

“It’s a great service and most of the folks who are associated with the campus know if they have a problem like that they can call us and one way or another we help them,” Beaudry said. “They are really appreciative. The community we serve, they are good to us and I’m appreciative of all of them. We are proud to be here to help our students, faculty and staff anyway we can.”

Along with helping with various needs, the department also deals with criminal calls on campus.

“Fortunately here on the Troy campus we do manage to keep the crime low, which is nice,” Beaudry said. “We are responding when needed and investigating criminal offenses on somewhat of a regular basis.”

Currently the department has a total of nine police officers on staff. Normally Beaudry said the department should have around 15 officers. They are facing similar staffing prob-lems that departments across the country face.

“We are a little short staffed right now,” Beaudry said. “We are facing same dilemma law enforcement across the nation are facing. We are having a hard time recruiting and retaining qualified personnel, but with the nine people we have on campus, we are still able to provide 24-hour, seven-day-a-week service.”

When needed, the department also can reach out to the Troy Police Department for help. The university department jurisdiction includes anywhere that is university property.

“Primarily, we work any university owned property, building,” Beaudry said. “Our patrol guys generally stay on campus for their normal day-to-day operations. We do have our buildings off campus where we go and do security status checks and things of that nature.”

There is a stigma that university police offers are nothing more than security guards and that they are not able to do some of the things that normal police offers are able to do. That is not the case for the Troy University Police Department.

“We hear that university police are nothing more than security guards,” Beaudry said. “It’s not factual. All of our police officers are state certified officers. They all go through the same Police Academy. They are required to continue their education. They have full arrest authority and arrest powers.”

Although have the power to make arrests, the department tries to utilize other methods.

“We try when possible to utilize other prosecution methods, especially with our students,” Beaudry said. “We work really close with the student services division on campus. When possible we look for alternative discipline rather than putting a student in jail. However, we have full authority and a legal right to do so if need be. We are a fully functioning law enforcement agency.”