(July 25, 2017) – On July 29, the University Police Departments at Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University will consolidate in preparation for the universities’ anticipated consolidation in Jan. 2018. Laura McCullough, Georgia Southern’s chief of police and director of the Office of Public Safety, will lead the consolidated University Police Department.
“The early integration of University Police Departments will allow for upgraded equipment and aligned training standards,” notes McCullough. “We will be fully integrated well before the start of the fall 2017 semester.”
In recent months, the police departments have conducted extensive cross-training with front line supervisors and officers, including ride-alongs, to facilitate team-building between officers at both universities.
“The safety of students, faculty and staff on all three campuses is our top priority,” says Georgia Southern President Jaimie Hebert. “Our police officers play a vital role in the overall safety of the new Georgia Southern University. We look forward to a seamless transition as we launch a unified, consolidated University Police Department.”
Tiffany Land, Armstrong’s Interim Chief of Police, will continue to serve in her leadership role as the Interim Deputy Chief of the Georgia Southern Police Department - Armstrong Campus while the leadership staff is finalized.
Armstrong officers currently provide security services to the Armstrong Liberty Center in Hinesville and will continue to do so within the consolidated department. Officers will also continue to conduct cyberforensics work for area law enforcement agencies, working in conjunction with faculty and students in Armstrong’s award-winning cybersecurity programs.
“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.”
The Armstrong Police Department has been honored multiple times for its Cyber Forensics Division’s innovation, lasting impact on the local community and cooperation with regional and national security agencies. In 2015, Armstrong was named a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The elite national designation underscores the university’s growing commitment to cybersecurity education and research.
Georgia Southern is ranked 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 2017 report. Georgia Southern’s Police Department is among a growing number of police departments on college and university campuses that are using video technology during routine and critical calls for service. The department was the first public safety force in Bulloch County to incorporate body cameras and in-car recording systems into the daily work of its officers.
On Jan. 11, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia voted to consolidate Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University. The new institution, which is expected to debut in Jan. 2018, will be named Georgia Southern University and will be led by President Jaimie L. Hebert. The tentative timeline for the first entering class of the new university will be the fall of 2018.