Ken Vance, Georgia College & State University’s director of Public Safety, asked the Student Government Association Wednesday for help and support regarding the shortage of Public Safety officers on campus.
Vance expressed the need for GC&SU Public Safety to have five more officers to insure the safety of GC&SU students. The new proposal would allow more officers on campus during the weekend, at nights and also biking on campus.
Sophomore Senator Kim Gahl said GC&SU could use more officers on campus.
“I think that GC&SU officers would be useful walking around campus,” said Gahl. “This would help students feel a little bit safer about walking on campus at night.”
Previously, GC&SU had nine uniformed officers along with two administrative sworn-in police officers. Because of two sudden vacancies, GC&SU Pubic Safety now has seven officers patrolling the campus. Currently the two vacancies have been filled, but the new officers will not be certified for another four months.
“It takes about one month and a half to find and hire someone to fill the vacancies,” said Vance. “It will not be for another four months before they become certified.”
Although GC&SU crime rate is low, the shortage of officers is still a concern among some senators. Freshmen Senator Chastity Harris said the shortage of Public Safety officers is a risk for the safety for students.
“With so few officers, I feel the student’s safety here at GC&SU is in question,” Harris said.
Compared to many other universities in the Middle Georgia area, GC&SU has one of the lowest officer-to-student ratios. Clayton State University, which has no residence halls, has one officer per two hundred and fifty students. GC&SU, however, has one officer per 410 students.
“There are less officers here than there was when I was a student,” said Vance.
Ryan Saltanacchio, a sophomore ex-officio, said he feels all measures should be taken to insure the safety of GC&SU students.
“I feel that the safety of the student body here at GC&SU is extremely important,” said Saltanacchio. “If for any reason that safety is in jeopardy, all measures should be taken to consider those concerns.”
In other news, member of SGA are preparing to participate in the historic event Jan. 23, when the Georgia State Legislature meets in Milledgeville and holds a reception in the Old Governors Mansion.