Education

More News | |

Paine's campus security now certified police department

Friday, July 19, 2013 6:19 PM
Last updated 9:43 PM
  • Follow Education

Paine College’s campus safety department was certified this summer as a full-fledged police department – with officers that have arrest authority and who will carry weapons, which school officials hope will boost security and deter crime.

Back | Next
Paine College Police Chief Joseph Nelson speaks about new campus security improvements during a press conference on Friday.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Paine College Police Chief Joseph Nelson speaks about new campus security improvements during a press conference on Friday.

“What this says to a would-be criminal is if you are here to put our campus community in harm’s way and you’re caught, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Paine Police Chief Joseph Nelson. “There’s a new day at Paine College. A new day.”

Since he was hired in March, Nelson has brought on seven certified police officers. Five more security officers should have their law enforcement certifications by the end of the year, he said.

The college received certification from Georgia’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Council in June and now has the same arrest authority as any police department in the state.

With its new status, Paine received an originating agency identifier assigned by the FBI, which can be used to identify the department’s transactions in the state’s database and validate criminal history record requests.

The transition from a campus safety department to police department will come with upgrades such as gun belts, uniforms, Glock pistols, two to three patrol cars and other improvements. Nelson could not provide an estimate for how much the upgrades will cost the college.

Nelson said the campus also received improved surveillance cameras and new key-card readers on the doors of residential halls.

The change comes about four months after the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office investigated an alleged rape of a student in the restroom of her Graham Hall dormitory. In March, 18-year-old Jairus Ray­shawn Dantzler was charged as a suspect in that case and in an attempted rape of another student in the same dormitory in November.

In 2012, crime on Paine’s campus resulted in 46 criminal incidents, including 18 burglaries, 12 simple assaults and four petty thefts, according to yearly crime statistics.

Nelson said he hopes having certified officers patrolling the campus on foot, bike and by car will help deter any criminal activity on campus and keep the community safe. The school will have a partnership with the sheriff’s office to process anyone it arrests at the jail on Walton Way.

“The security and safety of our kids and community is our priority,” Nelson said.

Assistant Chief Charles Prescott said officers will enforce nightly curfew and question anyone on campus without a Paine identification card.

Prescott, who joined Paine in March from the Waynesboro Police Department, said this transition will bring a renewed professionalism to the department. The police officers bring with them special training that is needed on a campus, such as how to deal with a shooter and other emergencies.

“It’s a great opportunity to be a part of the first-ever police department at the college,” he said.

Comments (13) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Little Lamb
46059
Points
Little Lamb 07/19/13 - 06:44 pm
2
2
Priorities

With all the financial mismanagement going on at Paine, it seems to me spending this much time, money and effort on the campus police is misguided.

Little Lamb
46059
Points
Little Lamb 07/19/13 - 06:50 pm
3
1
Watch Out For Itchy Triggerfingers

From the story:

Nelson said he hopes having certified officers patrolling the campus on foot, bike and by car will help deter any criminal activity on campus and keep the community safe.

GRU Officer Wesley Martin was shown to have wrongly used his taser on an innocent victim driving his car on Wrightsboro Road. Hopefully GRU will discharge officer Martin, as this was not his first infraction. After civilian Martin has some training, maybe he will qualify for the Paine Police Patrol.

Sweet son
10415
Points
Sweet son 07/19/13 - 08:26 pm
2
2
Little Lamb is right!

Paine can't manage anything else, especially money, so how would you believe that they could manage a police force. The money spent on this stuff should be spent to balance their books. The article didn't mention how much it costs to pay for this service. Tracey should have asked this question.

And please don't get me wrong, I am for protecting their campus but mismanagement in the past with funds and accreditation makes us wonder how this will turn out.

As for GRU officer Martin, he is not representative of the men and women over at the sister institution. That department was started around 1973 and has proven to be effective in it's mission.

griff6035
4007
Points
griff6035 07/19/13 - 08:55 pm
1
0
Police Dept

The Chief looks like a person who was the Thompson police chief and also someone that worked in the Waynesboro PD recently.

Little Lamb
46059
Points
Little Lamb 07/19/13 - 09:28 pm
2
1
Grooo Police

I agree with you, Sweet Son, that officer Wesley Martin of the Grooo police force is not typical of the other officers on that force. Most are professional and level headed. Officer Martin had a grudge against the person he tasered for driving with a paper tag.

Officer Martin sullied the reputation of an otherwise fine campus police force. Officer Martin needs to be let go unceremoniously and quietly.

Even worse than Officer Martin was the person in the DA's office who allowed the case to go to trial. It was obvious that Martin was in the wrong. Two wrong-headed cases involving someone named Martin. Justice is in serious trouble in our dear country.

corgimom
32615
Points
corgimom 07/19/13 - 10:01 pm
1
1
There are too many guns and

There are too many guns and drugs there not to have a police force.

Bizkit
31545
Points
Bizkit 07/19/13 - 10:16 pm
3
0
Paine is millions in debt

Paine is millions in debt with HEAL Complex (the gym that isn't suppose to be a gym so they can't call it that), then numerous debts to pay for food services (really bad credit) the ole one suddenly left because of lack of payment, a new expensive football team and coaches they pay more than educators, breaking ground on a new dormitory (they need new ones as the old ones would be closed by OSHA), a new police force, a revolving door of VP of Academic Affairs (4 in 4 years) and faculty members because they treat them so shabbily, Dean of Arts and Science resigned suddenly which the paper didn't cover (AC missed that but got last VP leaving), spend, spend some more, numerous lawsuits still pending (rumor of numerous scandals too), and finally still under a SACS warning for not addressing any of the things that got them in trouble in the first place. I have a friend that works there and a during a faculty meeting another faculty member asked if they should be caring a gun because of concerns of students "packin' heat". Yikes!!! My friend in defense of the students said that most are really nice and have problems no different than any college student (outside forces bring crime). He said the real criminals were in the administration building. LOL. Course this person isn't suppose to be talking because the administration warned the faculty not to talk to the press or anyone about the problems at Paine. So much for freedom of speech.

Bizkit
31545
Points
Bizkit 07/19/13 - 10:21 pm
1
0
I am curious about the sudden

I am curious about the sudden disappearance of Dean Williams of Arts and Science. She was all over their website with her accomplishments (its the strong school at Paine) then suddenly gone. No word why just vanished. She seemed to be on the ball and getting things moving there. Maybe the AC will investigate.

showboat
336
Points
showboat 07/19/13 - 11:17 pm
0
0
ALL OF PAINE COLLEGE STAFF
Unpublished

ALL OF PAINE COLLEGE STAFF IS AT CLUB THREE DOLLAR GETTING DRUNK ON FRIDAY WITH BRANDON BROWN!!

GiantsAllDay
9595
Points
GiantsAllDay 07/19/13 - 11:39 pm
3
1
Now Paine can get out of

Now Paine can get out of debt!!!
1) Put radar in the cars
2) set up an operation rolling thunder on campus

showboat
336
Points
showboat 07/19/13 - 11:47 pm
0
0
ALL OF PAINE COLLEGE STAFF IS
Unpublished

ALL OF PAINE COLLEGE STAFF IS AT THE THREE DOLLAR CLUB ON FRIDAY NIGHT WITH BRANDON GETTING DRUNK! LOL

Bizkit
31545
Points
Bizkit 07/20/13 - 12:47 am
3
1
I worry Paine could lose

I worry Paine could lose their accreditation with SACS. If that happens no student loans and no school likely. They've got another year to get it together and it doesn't look like it's happening. It has a long history and it is a historic black college, and it means a lot to the African-American community and greater CSRA. If Paine could afford a football team it would be a great contribution to the community. I'd go check it out. I think the administration has admirable goals just having problems in navigating their way there, maybe too impatient, and taking too many risks (by flagrantly breaking labor laws and other federal regulations) . We should cherish any educational institution in the CSRA and support them-education is the future.

Riverman1
84143
Points
Riverman1 07/20/13 - 04:34 am
3
0
All this recent spending

All this recent spending with the football team and now this police force is puzzling. Maybe they have figured out how to pay for everything, but....maybe not.

georgiaranger
8
Points
georgiaranger 07/20/13 - 07:06 am
2
0
PCPD

Yes, Nelson is the former chief of Thomson PD. Then he took a lower position with Waynesboro PD. (I wonder why?) I would love to know how much they are paying their officers. It would be interesting to know the backgrounds of these officers and view their POST histories. As far as getting their security officers certified, the result will be a marginal improvement. Ten weeks in the academy does not a police officer make. Working alongside highly trained, experienced, PROFESSIONAL law enforcement officers would make a real difference. In most cases "police departments" like Paine wind up being a haven for cast offs, misfits, washed ups and wanna be's. I wonder how mush diversity we will see in the ranks of Paine College PD? Too bad GRU Police are not patrolling the Paine campus by contract...

LillyfromtheMills
13309
Points
LillyfromtheMills 07/20/13 - 07:16 am
3
2
Curious

Why is there so much crime at Paine or are these numbers representative of other colleges this size?

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 07/20/13 - 07:17 am
0
0
They can always sue the Methodist Church. Again, Again.....
Unpublished

They can always sue the Methodist Church. Again, Again.....

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 07/20/13 - 07:18 am
0
0
They can sue Waste Management. A mind wasted is terrible.
Unpublished

They can sue Waste Management. A mind wasted is terrible.

Riverman1
84143
Points
Riverman1 07/20/13 - 11:05 am
2
0
Nelson

Joseph Nelson has a peripatetic past in law enforcement. He fired an officer when she became pregnant and asked for a temporary desk job when he was the Thomson Chief. Next he went to Waynesboro.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs