GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Last week, ECU’s chancellor and the city of Greenville signed an agreement expanding the jurisdiction of ECU police.
Officials say it will improve the level of service police can provide for the community.
“Our goal is to get the word out to the community on what we are doing. Let everybody know, more police presence equals safer community,” GPD police chief Mark Holtzman said.
Some are concerned about over-policing in neighborhoods, but ECU says that won’t be the case.
“We don’t have the resources to patrol the entire city, so we will not be doing that,” Associate Vice Chancellor for Environmental and Campus Safety Bill Koch said. “Our officers travel from one campus to another, one facility to another. If they see a serious crime or one is reported to them over the radio, they want to intervene immediately, not hesitate or think about what jurisdiction they’re in.”
There is also the question of which department will respond to 911 calls.
“When you call for the police, you don’t care who comes, you want a policeman, we are going to still come, we are going to take that report but they’ll help out if they’re nearby,” Holtzman said.
Police say students will definitely notice a greater presence Uptown on busy nights.
“I think the police force going out a lot broader will be better,” ECU senior Christina Coley said. “There’s been a lot of crime, there’s been shootings, during summer and stuff like that so I think it will deter people from doing what they’ve been doing.”
“For a football weekend, you do need plenty of security down here just for traffic reasons, just to keep people safe and out of the streets,” Stop Shop owner Jay Long said.
GPD says their service won’t be changed, only enhanced, by joining forces with campus police.
“Together we can do public safety, we can’t do it by ourselves, and it takes both us and ECU and the public, everyone does their part, we will have a safer community,” Holtzman said.
The new jurisdiction became effective as of last week when the agreement was signed.
Both departments say they are eager to see the positive role the new changes will play in the coming months.