Troy University Police are getting new guns, uniforms, body armor and body cameras, according to John McCall, the chief of university police.
Every officer is now equipped with a body camera. McCall said the cameras will provide evidence for investigations and help to keep officers and students safe.
“That’s the way the times are going,” McCall said, also adding that many other cities and university police departments have begun equipping their officers with cameras in the recent years.
McCall said university police will also be receiving new body armor. According to him, bullet-proof vests should be replaced every five years.
University Police will also receive new firearms in the near future. Officers will be switching from .40-caliber Glock handguns to 9mm Sig Sauer handguns.
Collin Davis, the university police lieutenant, said the change comes after Gulf States Distributors, a Montgomery-based firearms distribution company that works for state and local contracts from law enforcement agencies, lost their contract with Glock.
Davis said the 9mm rounds will be cheaper than the .40-caliber rounds.
McCall also said University Police might soon be getting new uniforms.
Davis said these more relaxed uniforms will most likely consist of a polo-style shirt and khaki pants.
According to McCall, the new vests and guns will be arriving within the next week or two.
McCall said he would like to see an expansion of the University Police office, or even move to a new location in the near future. McCall said the office has started to get crowded as the initial six-member police force now has 15 members.
McCall said the department is looking into getting some more vehicles since maintaining the current fleet of older vehicles is getting expensive.
“We want to make sure our officers are safe and have the best equipment possible,” McCall said.
Savannah Atkins, a senior social science major from Freeport, Florida, said the addition of body cams to campus police would be helpful for both students and officers.
“I think, first off, it could initiate community trust on campus between the officers and the students,” Atkins said. “Beyond being transparent, I think it’s a necessary tool that shouldn’t have taken this long to get — it’s an accountability thing.”