GREETINGS from Jasper A. Cooke, Director of Public Safety
The campus of Augusta State University is a safe and secure environment due to the efforts of a number of departments. The public safety department is under the direction of Chief Jasper Cooke, consists of 17 sworn police officers, an office manager, six dispatchers, two parking employees and two student workers. The police officers, certified by the state of Georgia, are armed and have full arrest powers. Officers are kept abreast of current police trends and changes through membership in the Georgia Chiefs Association, the East Central Georgia Traffic Network, the Georgia Campus Law Enforcement Administrators Association, and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.
We have initiated a number of activities to increase safety and to promote positive relations on campus. Blue light emergency phones are being placed in strategic areas to provide an emergency communication point in parking lots and large open spaces on campus. Lighting is consistently being evaluated to ensure the safety of our night students. Emergency weather radios were placed in strategic areas on campus. Emergency information for home and campus is located on the department’s web site. University police employees regularly attend student meetings, judicial hearings, and campus meetings to promote safety awareness.
The overall physical security of the campus is shared by public safety and physical plant. When officers on patrol note safety issues, a work order is submitted to physical plant for correction. Parking lots have been rented and rearranged in order to accommodate the changes due to construction. Crime reduction is an ongoing educational process involving the university community. While we have very little serious crime on campus, we have a significant number of thefts, which occur each year. The department has targeted theft reduction of both university and personnel property through information on flyers and programs offered to university groups.
All public safety employees are qualified in first aid, AED, and CPR. All student and visitor first aid reports are channeled through the department. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to report all safety related issues to the department. A building manager's committee meets at least twice yearly to discuss safety-related items and issues as well as serving as a focal point for the release of information. The public safety director has compiled a comprehensive emergency document, which has been distributed to essential personnel on campus.
The University makes a coordinated effort to provide a safe and healthy environment at ASU. University crime reports and first aid reports indicate the success of these efforts and we will continue to evaluate how and what we do to continue to make ASU a safe and healthy place conducive to learning, research and related university work activities.