Paine College Adds New Campus Police Department - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Paine College Adds New Campus Police Department

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Augusta, GA -

One local college is beefing up its security on campus.

Paine College is adding its own police department just in time for the fall semester.

We reviewed the crime data at Paine College from 2012 – and the top 3 crimes on campus included burglary, assaults and property damage.

Now – thanks to a new police department on campus – Paine's police chief says he hopes these numbers will come down.

Students and staff at Paine College will notice signs like these when they return to the classroom this fall.

 "If I get in trouble, you have police here and police can take them to jail," said Assistant Police Chief, Charles Prescott.

With an enrollment of 850 students, police say safety is a top priority – so that means more lights, more cameras and more presence on campus.

"We have upgraded our camera equipment and put in keycard readers in the dorms," said Police Chief, Joseph Nelson.

Police will patrol on bike, car and foot around the clock.

13 officers will patrol the campus on different shifts – 7 of them are now police certified meaning they can make arrests.

"It gives us the ability to make a lawful arrest and acts as a deterrent," said Nelson.

"We have the same arrest authority as any police officer in the state of Georgia," said Nelson.

Officers can guns, handcuffs and pepper spray – but not tasers.

Their jurisdiction will includes the main Paine campus plus nearby neighborhoods.

"Everyone wins – from the community to the employees and even surrounding agencies. If GRU or Richmond County gets in trouble, we can send deputies to back them up," said Prescott.

The new police department comes just 4 months after a student was allegedly raped on campus.

Investigators say that incident took place back in March at Graham Hall but the new police chief says he cannot comment on why the police department was formed now.

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