Troy University Police Chief George Beaudry is three weeks into his job, and he’s cracking down on improving communication with the campus population.
His focus is community service-oriented and he said he is determined to provide students a place on campus that will listen to and help with problems.
“I’m an open door,” he said. “I cannot help anyone with anything I don’t know about.”
He encouraged students to email, call or even text him, and he’ll get back to them as soon possible.
“It does start at the top,” he said. “Yes, one piece is safety and security, one piece is law enforcement, but the other piece is community relations and community service.”
“If they (students) don’t believe they got the correct information, I want them to know I’m the one to call.”
His work began with getting the university police department up to speed on training and other items.
All officers in Alabama are required to have 12 hours of training, but due to COVID-19, training options have been cancelled, leaving some officers behind on their training for the year.
Beaudry said he plans to make sure all officers on all Troy campuses have completed their hours by Dec. 31. The department is using online training options to get caught up.
The university police department will also begin posting on new Instagram and Facebook accounts this week, sharing tips, reminders and safety information.
While getting the agency in order, Beaudry also said he plans to drive community engagement with the department and the campus population.
In the coming semester, he plans to embed officers into student groups to provide safety talks, serve as a point of contact for the department and to be a familiar face.
“I don’t think we’ve done a good job of communicating,” he said. “I don’t think people realize we unlock cars if you lock your keys in your car. I don’t think people realize after hours we can provide an escort if there’s a student who doesn’t feel comfortable walking from one place to another. I don’t think people know we have those services out there.”
He’s also planning to use social media to broadcast the after-hours contact for the department after a parent told him it was difficult to locate the number and couldn’t get a hold of the department at night.
“The big push out the gate is letting you know what we can do for you and how we can help you,” he said.
He said one of his main goals is to show students that good experiences with law enforcement are attainable.
“It’s important we do our part to show our students that here is a group of law enforcement officers who are really portraying what the majority of law enforcement officers in the country (are like),” he said. “If for four years they’ve (students) seen the good, they won’t have this view that all cops are bad.
“I’m not asking anyone to have a view that all cops are good, I’m asking everyone to be open-minded and see what it is. There are good cops out there – when a student has a problem, I want them to be comfortable enough to report the crime and have the feeling that somebody is here to listen to me and somebody is here to help me through the process.”