Savannah GA July 29 2017 Police departments at two Georgia universities will begin merging this weekend in anticipation of the schools’ January 2018 consolidation.
According to WJCL, officials at Armstrong University and Georgia Southern University voted on January 11 to consolidate the two schools. The new university will keep the name Georgia Southern University and will be led by GSU’s current president, Jaimie L. Hebert.
The police department consolidation will be led by Laura McCullough, Georgia Southern’s chief of police and director of its Office of Public Safety.
“The early integration of University Police Departments will allow for upgraded equipment and aligned training standards,” says McCullough. “We will be fully integrated well before the start of the fall 2017 semester.”
Armstrong’s interim chief of police, Tiffany Land, will continue to serve in a leadership role as interim deputy chief of the new Georgia Southern Police Department.
President Hebert says that both campus police departments have already conducted ride-alongs and cross-training for front line supervisors and officers.
The Armstrong Police Department currently provides security services for the Armstrong Liberty Center in Hinesville and conducts cyberforensics work for local law enforcement agencies, both of which they will continue to do following the merger.
The Armstrong Police Department has been recognized for its Cyber Forensics Division’s impact on both the local community and regional and national security agencies.
In 2015, the department was given the title of a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“Our goal is to enhance public safety on the Armstrong and Liberty Campuses during this transition and to continue our commitment to high-quality cyberforensics work that benefits the local law enforcement community and the judicial system,” says Armstrong Interim President Jennifer Frum. “We will continue to emphasize our commitment to public safety and to the community throughout the consolidation process.”
George Southern University was listed in a 2017 report as one of the nation’s Top 100 Safest Colleges in America by the National Council for Home Safety and Security’s Safest Colleges in America.
Its police department is also notably the first public safety department in Bulloch County to use both body cameras and in-car recording systems in its daily efforts.