TUPD: mall cops or real police?

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Frankie Malisewski

Contributor 

Some students may believe campus police officers driving in the gray and gold vehicles do not share the same authority as city or state officers, but campus police can actually pull vehicles over and write tickets on university grounds.

Steven Sain, a senior political science major from Panama City, Florida, said he “genuinely” didn’t think campus police could pull vehicles over or write tickets for violations much other than parking.

“I don’t know why exactly, but that just feels odd,” Sain said. “I’ve never known one person pulled over by (university police) when driving.”

Kimberly Crum, a freshman multimedia journalism major from Selma, said she saw university police more as “security than actual police officers.”

“It makes sense that they can give citations and tickets for minor infractions, but it doesn’t seem like university police can handle major situations similar to what city police take care of,” Crum said.

“They write tickets like they’re going out of style,” said Caleb Lanford, a freshman global business major from Mobile.

“(Students) believe we are here to write out tickets and nothing more, but that’s not it,” said Troy University Police investigator James Taylor. “We truly are here to help when students need us to.”

While helping students is their first priority, university police officers can enforce the same laws as city police. 

“We can pull over anyone on campus property and issue state tickets, just like Troy city police can,” Taylor said.

While some students might not have been aware of exactly what university police officers can do, both Lanford and Sain had nothing negative to say about them.

“I have no issues with them, and they seem like nice folks,” Lanford said.

Sain brought up instances when university police had helped him and said he appreciates their work.

“They’ve held onto my lost items and helped me get into my locked car when the battery died,” Sain said. 

Not only will university police hold onto lost items and unlock car doors, but they can also help jump a car battery and escort students if they ever feel unsafe going anywhere on campus.

University police can be reached through the Troy University app.

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